The Best Cheese Soup (adapted from the 1886 Cafe, Austin, TX)

Warm, creamy and satisfying, this delicious, cheesy soup recipe is sure to become a family favorite.  It’s perfect to sip on a chilly evening. Garnish the soup with croutons, sliced scallions, or chopped ham or bacon.  It really deserves the title of the best cheese soup!

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White bowls of the best cheese soup full of minced vegetables and served with soft pretzels.

I got this recipe from the chef at the Driskoll Hotel in Austin, Texas while I was there for a conference.  I ordered a cup of this delicious soup for lunch, which turned into a second cup and then a bowl at dinner time.  Needless to say, I was a fan.

When I read the recipe, I was shocked to read that they used Velveeta cheese.  Really? I was sure it was an error. From trial and error, trust me when I say to you….USE VELVEETA!  It makes a smoother, creamier, and thicker soup. It’s a texture thing.


  • You want to use a food processor to chop the vegetables very fine.  If you don’t want to use or don’t have a food processor, mince the vegetables as fine as possible.  Using finely minced aromatics keeps the silky texture of the soup.
  • Using Velveeta really makes a difference in the thickness and creaminess of the soup.  But if you want to use cheddar, be sure to grate your own cheese. Using the packaged shredded cheddar will leave your soup with a grainy texture.  Packaged shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent on it that prevents it from melting smoothly.
  • Keep the heat low when simmering the soup.  It does and will scorch very easily. Stir often and once the cheese is melted and the soup is thickened, remove the pot from the heat.  Warm the soup as needed in the microwave, or use a double boiler.


  • Grated cheddar or parmesan cheese
  • Sliced scallions, minced, fresh jalapenos, or diced red onions
  • Crispy bacon bits, diced ham, or crab meat
  • Croutons, oyster crackers, or tortilla strips
  • The best topping is actually a soft pretzel to dip in the yummy soup.  This is my favorite.

White bowls of the best cheese soup full of minced vegetables and served with soft pretzels.


Make The Best Cheese Soup a meal with this recipe for a beautiful Autumn Salad, a slice of Cheddar Jalapeno Bread, and a square of Millie’s Old Fashioned Lemon Bar.

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THE BEST CHEESE SOUP (adapted from the 1886 Cafe, Austin, TX)


Warm, cheesy, creamy, and full of minced vegetables, this recipe deserves the title Best Cheese Soup.  Plus, its ready in a little over 30 minutes so its a great weekday meal.



1 small onion

1 stalk celery

1 large carrot

1 large garlic clove, chopped

¼ cup butter

¼ cup flour

1 cup dry white wine (I like chardonnay)

5 cups chicken broth

4 cups milk

1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and cubed

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons hot sauce


Mince the vegetables very small or chop in a food processor.

In a heavy bottom Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the vegetables and saute, stirring often for 15 minutes until the vegetables begin to carmelize.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables.  Mix completely and cook, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes.  Deglaze the pot with the wine. Whisk into the flour mixture vigorously and allow to cook for a minute.

Pour in the chicken broth.  Whisk vigorously to incorporate all of the flour into the broth.  Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the milk and both the Velveeta and cream cheese.  Reduce the heat to low.

Cook, stirring often until the cheese melts and the soup begins to thicken a little bit.  This could take up to 20 minutes. Don’t rush this process. If the heat is too high, the soup will scorch.

Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Stir well.

If the soup isn’t hot enough for your personal eating preference, warm it in a double boiler or by the cup or bowl in the microwave.  Don’t let the soup boil. It will curdle and not look appetizing at all. Using the microwave at half power to heat the soup is perfection!


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Starters - Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: soup, cheese soup, comfort food, soup recipes, cheese soup recipes, cheese recipes, cream soups, cream soup recipes

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