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Spicy Wisconsin Cheese & Bacon Soup

Spicy Wisconsin Cheese  Bacon Soup

Creamy Spicy Wisconsin Cheese & Bacon Soup with spiced gouda, habanero jack, and sharp cheddar cheese with crispy bacon! An easy recipe that comes together fast!

Cheese + bacon…. need I say more? Soup week is coming to a close, so I decided to wrap it up with one of my most favorite soup recipes in the whole wide world: Spicy Wisconsin Cheese & Bacon Soup! 

Spicy Wisconsin Cheese  Bacon Soup 3

I grew up just a hop, skip, and jump away from Wisconsin, so I learned at a young age that Wisconsin is ALL about delicious cheese! I’ve been told that Wisconsin produces hundreds of varieties of cheese, which for this cheese lovin’ fanatic, is mind blowing! It also means that I need to step up my game when it comes to trying new cheese!

It was difficult to decide which cheeses to include in this Wisconsin Cheese Soup recipe, just because there were so many delicious options! In the end, here’s what I went with: Habanero Jack, Spiced Gouda,  and a classic sharp cheddar cheese. All made in Wisconsin.

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Now, of course, if you can’t find the specific cheeses that I used, no worries. Feel free to substitute any cheeses that you’d like. You’ll need about three cups of cheese total. I’d recommend that at least one cup is a sharp cheddar cheese, but other than that, choose any cheeses that sound good to you!

Spicy Wisconsin Cheese  Bacon Soup 4

One of my favorite parts about this soup is the smoky bacon! If you don’t have bacon on hand, another great option might be ham or even smoked sausage. Of course, you could eliminate the meat altogether if you’d like to make this a meat-free soup. For me though, the bacon is half of what makes this so delicious!

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Helpful tip: Shred your own cheese. In a recipe like this where you want the cheese to melt right into the soup, it is best to shred your own cheese because it simply melts better than the pre-shredded packaged cheese.

The consistency of this soup is not super thick like you might expect. The base of it is equal parts chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you wish) and milk so you’re left with a slightly thick, but not too thick soup that is comforting for the soul.

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This easy recipe comes together fast! It’ll take you about 15 minutes to prep – including chopping up the carrots, celery, and onion and shredding the cheese, and then it’ll take about 20 minutes to cook. Within 35 minutes, you’ll have a deliciously cheese soup on the table for dinner! Enjoy!

Spicy Wisconsin Cheese & Bacon Soup

Spicy Wisconsin Cheese  Bacon Soup 2

Prep Time: 15mn
Cook Time: 25mn
Total Time: 40mn

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (you could also use ham or smoked sausage)
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flake
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3 cups shredded cheese – I used 1 cup habanero jack, 1 cup spicy gouda, and 1 cup classic sharp cheddar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in chopped carrots, celery and onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the veggies are fork tender. 
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons corn starch over the veggies and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Slowly add in 4 cups chicken broth and stir well. After a few minutes, this mixture will start to thicken. Slowly add in 4 cups of milk, crumbled bacon, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, red pepper flake, and hot sauce. Cook for several minutes.
  4. Add in the cheese, one cup at a time and stir well between each cup. When all of the cheese has been added, reduce the heat to low until the cheese has melted.
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve immediately.

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Comments (26)

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  1. I need the onion soup I think that is what it is that has the melted cheese on top. Do you have that recipe?

  2. I can’t wait to try this. This is one of my all time favorite soups growing up. There was a sandwich shop in my town growing up and every Wed. was Wisconsin Cheese soup!

    I’ve never tried to make it myself though!

  3. My husband loves Wisconsin Cheese Soup, but this version would be to spicy for him, do you have another version that is less spicy?

  4. Could you use Arrowroot instead of the flour and cornstarch? We are wheatfree but this sounds wonderful!

    • I’m really not familiar with arrowroot, so sorry!

    • Sorry to butt in, but I think you can sub Arrowroot as the thickener just fine. I don’t know about the amount, but I would dissolve the arrowroot in a little water and add it after the stock is added and is hot. I have not cooked with it myself, but if it is like tapioca starch or cornstarch in the way it behaves then I think you could use it. Your soup will have a more translucent appearance than if you used flour. I found a substitution chart here: [ext.colostate.edu]

  5. I made it this week & hubby absolutely LOVED it. Thanks for the recipe…it will indeed be made again and again. LOL

  6. Looks like you are going to spice things up a bit with this tasty soup. Cheesy soup and a delicious kick of spice? Count us in! The addition of bacon brings everything together in a glorious fashion.

  7. Where did you grow up? I grew up in rural MN and while San Diego is a far cry from my childhood, I have a soft spot for all that cheese from WI and this soup is perfect. Pinned!

  8. This sounds perfect for a day like today! I haven’t had cheese soup in a long time. Too bad we don’t have any cheese from Cheddar Gorge (un England…it’s the original and aged in caves!) right now…it’s amazing! I was planning to make potato soup today, but might do this instead. Just need a loaf of crusty bread to have with it.

  9. This is an amazing soup! Have served it many times already this fall!! Highly recommend it!!

  10. I made this the other night. I used smoked Gouda, habanero cheddar and regular Monterey Jack. I also added chicken for some protein. Turned out fabulous!!

  11. I USED 1 RED PEPPER AND LIGHT CREAM AND PEPPER JACK CHEESE IT MADE A NICE RICH BISQUE YUMM

  12. Marjory Lynn Dudek-Betchkal

    The best cheese comes from Wisconsin.

  13. My family doesn’t care for spicy foods. Could I use all cheddar? Or do you suggest another non-spicy cheese blend?

  14. cheese soup is good any time with a nice piece of french bread

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