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Wisconsin Cheese Soup

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
40 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

What's not to love about a bowl of warm, melty cheese soup? This is hearty, rich and perfect for getting cozy with on a cold night — or warming you up at a chilly tailgate.

Technique tip: Keep the heat very low or turn off the stove completely when adding the grated cheddar cheese to avoid clumping. Stir in the cheese a little at a time, until each batch melts.

Swap option: Beer can be substituted for wine.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces processed cheese product, such as Velveeta, cubed
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated (do not use bagged shredded cheese, grate from a block)
  • crumbled bacon, fresh parsley, homemade croutons, sour cream, shredded cheese, scallions and fried onions, to serve


In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and paprika, and stir, cooking until the flour begins to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in white wine, milk and chicken broth. Bring to a low simmer and let cook on low, covered, for about 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

On low heat, gradually add Velveeta until melted. Slowly add cheddar cheese, constantly stirring until melted. Serve with desired toppings.