What a difference one ingredient makes! This soup was nowhere near the delicious end result until the final step which I had no idea about until I decided to add it. The scary beauty of recipe testing!
The finely chopped veggies you need are:
4 small or 2 large stalks celery(leaves included)
2 cups fresh broccoli
2 medium peeled carrots, shredded and chopped
1 red onion
2 small russet potatoes, peeled and diced
Cook veggies with 2 tbsp. butter, 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 2 cups chicken broth/stock until tender. Add to veggies a roux of 1/4 cup each butter and flour(melt together and cook slightly in separate sauce pan), 1/4 block cream cheese and a pinch of nutmeg.
Slowly incorporate 6 cups whole milk and 6 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar and keep stirring until all cheese are melted. After the chowder is slightly thickened add an additional 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and the magic ingredient...1 tbsp. Frank’s Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce. This adds a Wow! factor but very kid friendly! My youngest daughter ate it with no complaints and my oldest declared she’d never have to dine at Panera again and the only thing it needed was a bread bowl😁