Let me take you back to a long time ago (okay, about a month ago) when the staff at WisconsinMade sent a newsletter out to our artisans about our new marketing strategy. While that included a call for content in the form of recipes and lifestyle photos, one artisan responded with a personal touch.
Randy, owner of Northwoods Cheese Company (Verona, Wisconsin), emailed us the recipe below. Then, not even two days later, he dropped off four 10-oz blocks of his cranberry cheddar. Hey, Randy figured, he was in the neighborhood anyway—Verona isn’t too far away from WisconsinMade’s headquarters in Middleton, Wisconsin—and Randy wanted to make sure we had the proper ingredients for a recipe test.
Sconnies, we were all thrilled. We love meeting our artisans in person!
No one was more excited than our artisan relations coordinator Katrina, particularly at the prospect of four blocks of Northwoods Cheese Cranberry Cheddar. Describing this particular cheese as “her brand of cheddar” might be too cliche, but it’s no less accurate.
What happened to those four blocks? One was eaten that fateful Friday, the second was eaten the following Monday, and a third is biding its time in the WisconsinMade fridge. The fourth went into the following soup, which we made and ate for a working lunch.
Our verdict? This soup was delicious and we’re looking forward to making it again for our families.
Northwoods Cranberry Cheddar/Broccoli Soup
Yields: 6 servings
Time to make: 1 hour
- 6 strips Neuske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon, chopped
- 1 tbs. butter
- 1/2 c. carrot, chopped
- 1/2 c. onion, chopped
- 1/2 c. celery chopped
- 1/4 c. green or red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 c. broccoli chopped
- 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken stock
- 1/2 c. dark beer (optional)
- 10-12 oz. Northwoods Cheese Cranberry Cheddar, shredded
- 1/3 c. flour
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1 3/4 c. milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Door County Cherryland’s Best Sweetened Dried Cranberries, to garnish
- Bacon bits from Neuske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon, to garnish
Sauté bacon in butter, remove with slotted spoon when done.
Cook vegetables in bacon drippings until onion is transparent.
Combine vegetables, chicken stock and beer in stock pot. Heat to boil, then simmer until vegetables are tender.
Scald milk over medium heat.
Combine cheese and flour in a plastic bag. Toss to coat cheese. Add to heated milk. Cook until thick. Add cream into milk.
Pour cream, milk and cheese mixture into stock pot.
Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with Neuske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon bits and cranberries.