Louise Andrews Kent was a well-known writer of cookbooks and fiction in the post–World War II era. Under the pen name Mrs. Appleyard, she wrote witty tales, bookended by recipes, of life in Calais, Vermont (look for them in used-book stores—they’re terrific reads). We ran the recipe for this zesty, Vermont Cheddar Soup from The Summer Kitchen in June 1957, the year it was published. In testing, it required very few updates, a proven classic that’s even more delicious the next day.
5 tablespoons salted butter
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 small (or ½ large) onion, diced
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
3 cups milk
1 cup light cream
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Common or oyster crackers
Melt the butter in a 5- to 7-quart pot over medium heat.
Add the celery, carrots, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over all and stir 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock a bit at a time, whisking as you go, until you have a smooth base. Add the milk and cream and stir to combine. Purée the mixture in batches in a blender (or use an immersion blender) until smooth. Return to the pot over low heat and sprinkle the cheese over the liquid, a handful at a time, stirring continuously until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve hot, preferably with common or oyster crackers.