Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Cheshire Chowder

A bowl of Cheshire Chowder topped with crouton and bacon crumbles
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR /

Talk about cheesy goodness on a cold night. This chowder will warm your belly and your soul. I suppose its origins are English, but I first had it at a tavern in Nova Scotia, where ordering cod or lobster made far more sense than cheese soup. But I couldn't resist.

Serves 6

6 strips thick-cut bacon

1 medium Spanish onion, diced

1/3 cup flour

1 quart milk, warmed in microwave

2 cups half and half, warmed in microwave

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 pound Cheshire cheese, shredded (extra-sharp cheddar may be used)

Croutons (see below)

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium heat until medium crisp. Drain and chop coarsely. Set aside.

Pour off all but 1/3 cup of bacon fat. Saute onion until translucent, scraping up browned bacon bits. Add flour, reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add milk and half and half and cook, stirring, until thickened.

Whisk in mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese a handful at a time, stirring until melted before adding next handful.

Serve garnished with bacon and croutons.


1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

Toss all ingredients together. Brown in a skillet, tossing occasionally, over medium heat.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit