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Cheese Soup Recipe

This Cheese Soup Recipe is creamy and thick enough to fill you up without being too heavy. The sharp cheddar cheese takes center stage in this delicious soup, while onions, carrots, celery, and red bell peppers add a subtle sweetness. 

What could be more comforting and warming than a steaming bowl of cheese soup? This soup is one of my favorites for a chilly fall evening. It’s pure comfort food in a bowl!

Cheese Soup served in a white bowl.

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I make this soup recipe often in the cooler months. It only takes around 40 minutes to prepare from start to finish. With common kitchen ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can whip up a bowl of this cheesy goodness without any hassle. That's the kind of recipe I like!

Why You Will Love This Cheese Soup

  • Rich, Tangy Flavor: The sharp cheddar cheese has a bold, tangy taste that's both comforting and delicious.
  • Creamy Texture: The soup's texture is smooth, creating a comforting dish on a cool night.
  • Simplicity: The recipe is easy to follow and only takes about 40 minutes to get dinner on the table.
  • Fall Comfort: Perfect for chilly fall evenings, it warms you from the inside out.

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make cheese soup set out on the counter.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: The star ingredient, sharp cheddar cheese gives the soup its distinctive flavor and creamy consistency. 
  • Vegetables including onion, carrot, celery, and red bell pepper create a flavorful base for the soup.
  • Butter: Used to sauté the vegetables and create a light roux when combined with flour, salt, and pepper. 
  • Milk and heavy cream create the soup’s creamy texture. 
  • Worcestershire sauce: This adds a complex savory flavor, tying all the elements together.
  • Garlic salt: Adds both saltiness and a mild garlic flavor to the cheese soup
  • Mustard: Adds a subtle tanginess to the dish.
  • Cayenne pepper: Brings a mild kick to the flavor of the soup and balances the richness of the cheese.

Recipe Variations

  • Add Bacon: For a smoky and savory twist, cook some bacon until crispy, crumble it, and sprinkle it on top of the soup just before serving.
  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Add steamed or blanched broccoli florets to the soup for a classic Broccoli Cheddar variation.

How To Make Cheese Soup

Chunks of Butter in a saucepan to melt.
Onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper in a saucepan.

Place a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add in the butter. Once the butter is bubbly, add in the diced onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Give it about 3-5 minutes, just enough to soften those veggies up.

Flour, milk, and heavy cream added to vegetables in the saucepan
Shredded cheese is ready to add to the soup mixture in the saucepan.

Next, sprinkle in some flour and the salt and pepper. Give it a good stir- the flour will help thicken the soup. Slowly pour in the milk, starting with 2 cups, and keep ½ cup on standby - just in case. Add the heavy cream and stir it in. 

Now, add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper for a subtle kick. Let it mingle and cook for another minute. 

Now comes the cheese. Toss in some sharp cheddar cheese and keep stirring until it's all melted. Depending on your preferences, you might want to add that reserved ½ cup of milk. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Time to serve it up! Grab some crunchy bread - like focaccia or French bread - to scoop up that cheesy goodness. 

Cheese soup in a white serving dish.

Serving Suggestions

The ways to serve this cheese soup are endless. You’ll want to serve it with a piece of my focaccia bread or crusty bread for dipping, but you can also add toppings like croutons, bacon bits, fresh herbs, or chopped green onions. 

Recipe Tips

  • While pre-grated cheese is convenient, it often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the texture of your soup. Grating your own cheese from a block will yield a smoother result.
  • Pay attention to your heat settings. Too high heat can cause the cheese to separate and result in a grainy texture. Keep it at a gentle simmer when melting the cheese.
  • Adjust the amount of milk to achieve your desired soup consistency. If you like it thicker, use less milk; if you prefer a thinner soup, add more milk.
  • Once you've added the cheese, avoid bringing the soup to a boil. Instead, maintain a gentle simmer to prevent the cheese from curdling.

Can I use pre-shredded cheese instead of grating my own cheddar cheese?

While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, it may contain anti-caking agents that can affect the soup's texture. Grating your own cheese from a block is recommended for a smoother result.

What type of sharp cheddar cheese should I use?

You can use either white or yellow sharp cheddar cheese for this soup. Opt for quality cheddar cheese for the best flavor.

Two bowls of Cheese Soup.

Here are a few more soup recipes to keep you warm this winter.

I can’t wait for you to try a warm bowl of my cheddar cheese soup. The rich, creamy flavors and the velvety texture make it the perfect comfort food for a chilly fall evening.

A serving of Wisconsin Cheese Soup in a white bowl.

Cheese Soup Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
This Cheese Soup Recipe is creamy and thick enough to fill you up with sharp cheddar cheese, onions, carrots, celery, and red bell peppers. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 602 kcal


  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • cup diced onion
  • cup diced carrots
  • cup diced celery
  • cup red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 - 2½ cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 - 2½ cups sharp cheddar cheese


  • In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and red bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes to soften.
  • Add flour, pepper, and salt to the sauce pan. Cook for about 1 minute to cook out flour.
  • Slowly add milk; start with 2 cups and reserve 1/2 cup. Add heavy cream and stir.
  • Add Worcestershire, mustard, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, and continue to cook for another minute.
  • Add sharp cheddar cheese and continue to stir. Depending on how loose you like your soup, you may choose to add the rest of the milk. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve with crunchy bread like focaccia bread or French bread. Enjoy!


The amount of cheese and milk can vary from 2 to 2½ cups depending on how thick and cheesy you like the soup. Start with 2 cups of each and then add the extra ½ cup of each as needed.
Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you have leftovers and want to reheat your soup, you may want to add a little milk to loosen it.


Calories: 602kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 24gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 29gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1225mgPotassium: 444mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 3919IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 725mgIron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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