Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque

Thursday 7 October 2021

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque

Now that autumn is upon us, we can feel free to enjoy delicious soups and stews without any fear of heating up the kitchen. In fact, with the cooling temperatures a hot soup for lunch or supper might well be just what the Doctor ordered.

This delicious Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque is a favorite in my kitchen and makes an excellent light lunch or supper, or even an excellent starter for a celebratory or holiday meal!

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 
It is smooth and creamy with a beautiful rich flavor, and is very simple to make. You can also make it ahead up to the point where you add the cheese.

Simply reheating it and then whisking in the cheese just prior to serving.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 

You may find yourself wondering what is it that makes a soup a bisque?  Traditionally in France, a chef would define a bisque as being a soup made from shell fish and thickened with a paste created from their shells.

Sounds appealing eh?  (NOT!)  Julia Child was the first person to popularize Lobster Bisque in North America.  Her recipe uses both shells and ground rice to thicken the bisque.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 
These days, more often than not, it is a term used to describe a creamy soup, usually made with vegetables, with a smooth velvety texture, which uses cream to enrich it. 

They should feel smooth and luxurious in the mouth. Creamy and rich they are often served as the first course of a large dinner. You can use a food mill to puree them to the perfect silkiness, or you can do as I do and use an immersion blender.  Both work equally as well. 

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 
This Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque recipe I am sharing with you today is a beautiful bowl of soup.  Not only is it rich and creamy, but it has a beautiful flavor.

If you love the flavors of garlic and of cheese, you are going to adore this simple soup! 

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque


Most of the ingredients for this beautiful soup are common every day ingredients.

Chicken broth
White wine
Evaporated milk
A sharp white cheddar cheese
Butter and canola oil for sautéing the vegetables

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 
You will only need to use the white and very light green parts of the leek, discarding the darker green part or freezing them to use in a stock somewhere down the road.

Leeks have a tendency to be sandy, so do make sure you wash them really well.  Dirt gets easily caught in the rings of a leek, so you will want to get all of that out.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 

Submerge sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water. Give them a gentle stir or shake to remove any soil or grit between the layers. Allow the leeks to sit in the water for a few minutes. Then scoop them into a colander using your hands or a slotted spoon  

Alternately, you can cut off the length of leek you need, removing and discarding the root end. Make a cut down one side lengthwise, cutting through to the center of the leek. Wash and rinse the leek under cold running water, using your fingers to separate the layers.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 


This is a very simple soup to make. You begin by sautéing the vegetables in a mix of butter and oil.  The oil allows you to heat the butter to a higher temperature without it burning and the butter lends a lovely nutty flavor to the vegetables. 

You want to make sure all you do is to soften the vegetables without coloring them, so do keep an eye on them and stir them frequently. You also only want to soften them until they are crispy tender.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque
Once that is done you add some chicken broth and dry white wine and allow the vegetables to simmer in that until they are soft.  If you don't have any dry white wine don't panic. 

There are some very good things that you can substitute for dry white wine.  There is an excellent article here on Spruce Eats regarding this issue.  

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 

Today I used ginger ale with superb results. Who would have thought you could do such a thing! It worked wonderfully.

And there was no aftertaste from the ginger ale. Apparently Ginger ale has the same sort of dry, sweet taste as white wine.  In any case, it was an excellent substitute.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 
Once your vegetables have softened in the broth you  will need to puree them in the broth until they are smooth. I use my immersion blender for this, but you can also use a regular blender, or push it through a seive.

Once that is done, make a slurry with some corn starch and cold water and add that to the soup along with a can of evaporated milk. You could also use cream, but evaporated milk does the same thing.

It is much lower in fat and trust me when I tell you that you won't taste it in the long run.  I always have evaporated milk in my store cupboard and I use it a lot in the place of cream when cooking. Undiluted of course. 

evaporated milk and condensed milk 

Do not make the mistake of confusing evaporated milk with condensed milk. They are not the same thing.  

Although both products have been heat treated  to remove some of the water, condensing the product roughly in half, condensed milk has sugar added to it which makes it incredibly thick and sweet.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 
Once you have added the milk and cornstarch slurry, you will need to bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce it to a simmer, simmering everything together until it bubbles and thickens.

Once this has happened you can add the cheese. I always grate my own cheese for things like this. It melts much better into the soup.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 

I add it by small handfuls, stirring in and melting each handful before I add another one.  It works a charm. You soup/bisque will now be done and ready to serve.

I tried to make some fancy leaf shaped garlic croutons to float on top of my soup today, but alas, they didn't end up looking like leaves.  I sure miss my autumn set of cookie cutters that I had to leave in the UK. They were the perfect size and shape.

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque 
It was a set I had gotten from Gooseberry Patch many years ago. I also had a Christmas set and a Heart in hand cookie cutter and a special gingerbread man cookie cutter that had a heart in the center.  I try not to think overly much about what got left behind because when I do, it upsets me a tiny bit.

In any case, I hope you will make this lovely soup. Its really simple to make and deliciously rich and cream.  If you don't love it, I'll eat my hat!

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque

Garlic & White Cheddar Bisque

Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M
This rich, delicious soup makes an excellent first course for a holiday meal, or when served with some crusty bread a fabulous light lunch or supper.


  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS canola oil
  • 1 medium leek ( the white and light green parts only) washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 stick of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 cans of chicken broth (28 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) dry white wine (see notes for substitutions)
  • 2 TBS corn starch
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups (240g) freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Once the butter begins to foam add all of the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, over moderate heat until the vegetables are crispy tender (6 to 8 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes longer, then add the chicken stock and wine.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for15 to 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  3. Using a stick blender (or very carefully in a regular blender) blitz the soup until smooth.  
  4. Whisk together the corn starch and cold water. Add this to the soup along with the evaporated milk.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbling. 
  5. Whisk in the cheese, one handful at a time, until the cheese is thoroughly blended into the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.
  6. Ladle into heated bowls and serve immediately.


If you don't have any white wine you may substitute the following in its place and in the equal amount. Ginger ale. Additional chicken stock. White wine vinegar and water mixed half and half. Water.

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  1. Oh, this looks lovely. Think I will use this for a starter for my Thanksgiving dinner.

  2. They were very clever substitutions for the white wine. We generally have white wine around, but it's always good to know how you can get a similar taste - as you know I'm the queen of substitutions :)

    It's definitely soup weather now and I'm always on the lookout for different soups to make. This one sounds lovely and one to try out soon. There is no white cheddar to be found here, but I see there are plenty of other cheese I can use instead, so I shall pencil this one in for next week.


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