Alana Chandler Steel concocted a taste of her Southern roots when a job transfer landed her in a city where pimiento cheese was hard to find. Now back in the South, Alana says this savory soup is a hit with her friends.
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 medium-size sweet potato, peeled and chopped*
4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (4-ounce) jar sliced pimientos, drained and divided
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
How to Make It
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add chopped sweet potato, milk, and chicken broth; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes or until sweet potato is tender. Remove mixture from heat, and stir in half of the pimientos. Add Cheddar cheese and next 4 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts. Let cool 5 minutes.
Process cheese mixture, in batches, using a handheld blender, blender, or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Stir in remaining half of pimientos before serving.
*1 medium potato, peeled and chopped, may be substituted.
Note: Our Test Kitchens professionals tested this soup using three different tools--a food processor, blender, and handheld blender. Though each worked well, the handheld blender produced the smoothest soup.