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Grandma’s Copycat Kelly’s Cheese Soup

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This cheese soup is a copycat recipe my family has enjoyed for years. It is full of vegetables, pasta and creamy cheesy goodness. It’s a regional favorite and soon to be a favorite for you as well!

cast iron dutch oven full of Kelly's cheese soup with veggies and pasta

    This cheese soup is the ultimate in comfort food.  It is super creamy and really delicious. Plus it is loaded with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. The pasta makes for a really nice addition, it is almost like macaroni and cheese in a full meal soup kind of form.  Let me tell you, it is a favorite around here.

      My town has a group of restaurants that are some of the most popular in town.  They are all owned by a local family and have some of the best food around.

      In fact, my husband worked at one for a good part of his twenties. It serves pizza and Mexican food.

     I know it sounds like a strange combo, but it really works.  Add in pitchers are margaritas and you are really in business.

bite of kelly's cheese soup on spoon with potato, broccoli, pasta and cream cheese

      Kelly’s is the Irish pub version of the four hot spots.  They serve great burgers, salads, sandwiches, chicken fingers and all of the things you would expect at a family pub.

     They also have a salad bar with everything you would expect plus big fluffy cinnamon rolls and their famous cheese soup.

bowl of soup next to a pot of chunky cheese soup

      In fact, a lot of people visit just for the salad bar and wouldn’t be the least bit ashamed just getting the cheese soup and cinnamon rolls.  Hey, if it’s good, it’s good!

     My grandma has been making this copycat version of the cheese soup for as long as I can remember and it is every bit as good.  In fact, I pulled this recipe from the family cookbook she and my aunt put together when I was still a relatively young kid. 

     There is so much yummy goodness in this soup.  There are plenty of veggies, potatoes, noodles and of course a creamy cheesy delicious base.  It is like a big old comforting hug on a cold day.

     Plus it comes together super quickly.  It is a great soup to make in a large slow cooker as well.  Just be careful to watch it once it is all melted as the edges can scorch a bit if you aren’t careful.

looking down on bowlful of Kelly's cheese soup

     This cheese soup has graced many a get together in my family.  In fact it has graced grandma’s table on Christmas as well as been a hit at many a “souper bowl” party.

    It is good enough to be served to company and easy enough to make on a random cold Monday night.  So please, please, try this soup.  It is like taking a taste of my hometown home with you.

More favorite soup recipes:

  • Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup is loaded with everything we love in our chicken pot pie, but in a simpler package. We love serving it with a biscuit or little bits of pie crust on top. 
  • Creamy White Chicken Chili is a favorite for football season or any time. It is mild but flavorful and delicious.
  • Maw-Maw’s Chili Mac is the chili I knew growing up. It is really mild and has macaroni noodles in it!

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions 

One of the fabulous parts about soup recipes is they are very easy to customize and make your own. They are very forgiving and hard to mess up too bad as long as you don’t scorch the cheese!

You could very easily make this recipe a vegetarian soup if you would like. Just use cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup in place of the chicken version.

Then use water or vegetable broth in place of the chicken stock. You’ll be enjoying a tasty meat free meal that is perfect for vegetarians or a great option for Lent. 

spoonful of kelly's cheese soup with wide egg noodles, broccoli, cauliflower and more.

This soup is thick and gets thicker as it cools. To thin it out some, just add in a little more water or broth.

If you don’t like the California mix of veggies, use all broccoli. Then you would have a super chunky delicious version of broccoli cheese soup!

I usually use either wide egg noodles or elbow macaroni in this recipe. You can really use any shape that will fit well on your spoon. 

Just let your taste buds and common sense be your guide. If you come up with a fabulous variation, please let me know about it.  I love to try your suggestions!

Yield: 12 Servings

Copycat Kelly's Cheese Soup

bowl of cheese soup with pasta, broccoli, potatoes and more

This cheese soup is the ultimate in comfort food. It is super creamy and really delicious. Plus it is loaded with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. The pasta makes for a really nice addition, it is almost like macaroni and cheese in a full meal soup kind of form. Let me tell you, it is a favorite around here.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 12oz bag frozen California mix vegetables
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 6 oz macaroni noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 lb Velveeta, cubed

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, bring chicken stock, potatoes and onion to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the frozen vegetables, mushrooms and cream of chicken soup and continue to cook until vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in cooked noodles and cubes of cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and soup is creamy.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1675mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 19g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This cheese soup is the ultimate in comfort food. It is super creamy and really delicious. Plus it is loaded with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. The pasta makes for a really nice addition, it is almost like macaroni and cheese in a full meal soup kind of form. Let me tell you, it is a favorite around here.

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mommar6

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Just so you know the real story. Grandma may have shared it with you. I originally got the recipe from Nancy Dietrich and really enjoy it. Grandma asked for the recipe when you were a little girl. You wrote it up. I gave grandma the card I had it on and I kept the one in your sweet writing. I still have that. I’m making this soup today. Yum

Carlee

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Ah. I didn't know that! Thanks for setting the record straight.

Amy

Wednesday 4th of November 2020

Oh my this does sound good. I love soup this time of year! And I could go for a bowl of soup and a delicious cinnamon roll. I could totally eat at one of your local restaurants if I were there. But since I'm not, I guess that I will have to make my own! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Carlee

Sunday 8th of November 2020

You are welcome to visit any time! In the meantime at least making the soup at home is easy!

Karen

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

This sounds delicious! I need to visit your town!

Carlee

Sunday 8th of November 2020

I would love that so much!

Andrea Nine

Monday 2nd of November 2020

I love a cheese soup! I love that there are some noodles in this too. Great for all these cool nights we are having!

Carlee

Sunday 8th of November 2020

This is the perfect combo of creamy with plenty of flavorful add ins It is definitely a hit around here!

Unknown

Tuesday 12th of March 2019

My hometown also! We have alot of great restaurants in this town, but Kelly's and Lagondola Spaghetti House are THE best ones in town! I've been looking for this recipe forever it seems like and am so excited to find this one! Thank you so much Carlee for sharing this amazing recipe!

Carlee

Thursday 14th of March 2019

I haven't had Lagondola in ages, yum! I hope you enjoy the soup, we love it! <3

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