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Old 12-27-2007, 12:53 PM   #1
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Why did my cheese clump??

Last night I made ham and cheese soup, recipe below, and when I added my cheese instead of going through out hte broth it sunk to the bottom in a big blob.... The soup was really good but it would have been better if the cheese hadn't sunk to the bottom... If anybody has any ideas on how to keep cheese from sinking to the bottom and clumping I would really appreciate the advice!!! Thanks!!!!!
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:23 PM   #2
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what kind of cheese did you use?
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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Wesley Farm Shreded Chedar..... could that have been the problem???
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:27 PM   #4
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Cheese is funny when added to hot things..I couldn't find the recipe that you used, so I don't know what you did..

Usually, you have to make a cream sauce type thing for the cheese to combine and melt evenly in. Hot broth and cheese will not mix at all..

When I am adding cheese to chili..I take it off the stove, put it in bowls and just add it as a garnish..

Tell me how you added your cheese..
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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Slowly

When making soup where cheese is the last ingredient, I go slowly
and keep stirring constantly. If it is a smooth soup, I just use my
hand held stick blender. Never put in the whole amount, just a little at a time stirring all the while. I don't think that you will have a problem
next time around.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:19 PM   #6
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I add my shredded cheese to some heavy cream, in a large bowl, before adding to hot soup....melt it a bit in the microwave, then add some of the soup broth back to the bowl....Then add into the soup....

Don't add while the soup is boiling....actually, let it cool down to JUST warm enough to melt the cheese...

Everybody's seen how natural cheese can separate when exposed to too high a heat, with all the oil coming out....That's what's happening in your soup pot....the heat of your soup is pulling the oil out of the cheese and leaving behind the solids (lumps) in the bottom.....

Sounds like a lot of work, but cheese can be very finicky....A lot depends on the type you're using and the temps of your base food....
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:28 PM   #7
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Thank Ya'll sooooo much!!!!
Carolyn: Opps...... I forgot to post the recipe with it!! Here it is!!!!

Ham And Cheese Soup (Low Carb) Recipe
1 TBSP OLIVE OIL
1/2 CUP ONIONS, CHOPPED
1/2 CUP CELERY, CHOPPED
1/4 CUP BELL PEPPER (ANY COLOR), CHOPPED
1 TBSP CHOPPED GARLIC
1 CUP DICED HAM
4 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK OR BROTH (CANNED OR HOMEMADE OR FROM BOUILLON CUBES)
1 BAY LEAF
1/2 TSP DRIED BASIL
1/4 CUP CREAM (OPTIONAL)
1/2 TO 1 CUP GRATED CHEDDAR CHEESE
CHOPPED GREEN ONIONS FOR GARNISH (OPTIONAL)

FRY ONIONS, CELERY, BELL PEPPER, AND GARLIC IN OIL TILL TENDER. ADD HAM AND FRY TO RELEASE SOME OILS AND MELD THE FLAVORS. ADD STOCK OR WATER/BOUILLON, BAY LEAVES, AND BASIL. SIMMER TO REDUCE SLIGHTLY, 20-30 MINUTES. ADD CREAM AND BRING BACK TO A BOIL (OPTIONAL). SLOWLY ADD CHEESE, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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SIMMER TO REDUCE SLIGHTLY, 20-30 MINUTES. ADD CREAM AND BRING BACK TO A BOIL (OPTIONAL). SLOWLY ADD CHEESE, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

I wouldn't do it this way..I would simmer the soup..Then take it off the stove and slowly add the cream, stirring gently..Then slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly..

I think the temp of the soup was too hot when you added the "cheese"..
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:32 PM   #9
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I wonder if using pre-shredded cheese contributed to the problem. The powdery coating on it doesn't allow it to melt very well.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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I use Trader Joe's preshredded cheese for mac 'n cheese and anything else - and I agree with Barbo and others, the trick is to not have the base liquid too hot, and to add a small handful at a time and use a whisk to blend it in, making sure it's all blended before adding the next small handful. I never have a problem that way!
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:26 AM   #11
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I use pre-shredded cheese in mac and cheese too as well as in quiches and a few other things. However, I've found that it doesn't work very well in certain things. It's horrible most of the time if I sprinkle it on top of a casserole and bake it a few minutes to melt. It just forms a nasty crust and isn't nice and melty like fresh cheese would be. I don't care for it much on pizza either (it works fine in a cheese-based crust though) and would never use it straight up out of the bag on taco salad and things like that. It's much too dry.
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