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Wisconsin Cheese Soup Recipe in a bread bowl

Wisconsin Cheese Soup

Wisconsin is the largest cheese producer in the United States and where my wonderful in-laws are from.  This recipe is a tribute to my mother-in-law because she would have adored this recipe.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author JoAnn


  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 yellow or sweet onion chopped
  • 5 button mushrooms chopped
  • 8 oz chopped cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 14.5 oz chicken broth
  • 3 1/2 cups milk Do not use skim
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese - shredded, I do not buy the pre-shredded kind. Buy the block and shred yourself for better flavor.
  • pinch of salt


  • In a large dutch oven pot, melt butter. Add carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and ham. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, should be about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Do NOT brown vegetables.
  • Stir in flour and cornstarch. Cook until flour is dissolved and you have formed a rue. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add broth and cook. Stir constantly, until slightly thickened and flour has been combined.
  • Add milk, paprika, cayenne, and mustard. Stir until ingredients are mixed well. 
  • Turn heat to medium - low!
  • GRADUALLY, stir in cheese - do NOT add cheese all at one time. Stir in a batch, until melted. Then add another batch. Incorporate each batch thoroughly before adding another.
  • To avoid curdling, do NOT allow soup to boil after the cheese has been added. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve PIPING HOT.