Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Cheese Soup

by Hilary Gauntt on November 30, 2015

The final day of a truly wonderful hiking trip we took in early October with the Back Roads Company included a stop for lunch in Quechee, Vermont at the famous Simon Pearce glassblowing and table ware center. This soup is always on the menu, and printed copies of the recipe are handed out upon request! I knew I needed to wait awhile to post it, as this rich and satisfying recipe needs a chill in the air to justify the calories.

We had never been East to see the fall colors and all expectations were exceeded! After an over long hot and humid summer in San Diego it was a delight to wears gloves and sweaters as we were shuttled to the premier hikes in the region. The leaves practically changed colors before your eyes, and the charming local inns provided memorable dinners for the satisfied, and justifiably, hungry hikers.

10 Tbs. butter

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3 quarts chicken stock

1 pound Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated

1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup minced celery

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups half and half

Optional: fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Melt the butter in a large heavy stockpot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add flour to the butter and onion mixture, stirring to combine well. Turn heat to very low. Stirring occasionally, cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock incrementally, stirring with whisk until smooth after each addition. Add chopped thyme, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat 5-10 minutes more until smooth and creamy, watching closely. Stir in the grated cheese.

In a separate saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add celery and carrots, cooking until just tender, about one minute. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Add celery and carrots to the stockpot. Stir in half and half and the cream. Stir soup well. Garnish with thyme sprigs if desired. Serve hot, but don’t boil or the soup will curdle. Makes 4 quarts soup.

Note:This obviously makes ALOT but it freezes and reheats like a charm, and is something you will be happy to pull out on a cold night. If you want a thicker soup, start with 2 quarts stock, you can always add more to thin it. I used 2 1/2 and thought it was lovely.

simon pearce soup

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa December 2, 2015 at 5:19 am

Hi Hilary, I look forward to making this with Cougar Gold sharp cheddar cheese (made by Washington State University in Pullman- do you know it?). Wondering if you ever saw “The Crash Reel” about simon pearce’s son Kevin? It is really a beautiful movie and an intimate look inside a loving and caring family, the pearce’s. See you soon!
XO Lisa


Hilary Gauntt December 2, 2015 at 8:07 am

That sounds like a perfect cheddar for this soup! I will search for The Crash Reel – thanks for the tip. Would love to know more about that talented family. Can’t wait for the wedding!!! xo


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