Caldo De Queso: The Cheesy Potato Soup With End-Of-Summer Vibes

The last weeks and days of summer are never easy. Those long days of sitting outside sipping a cold drink are getting shorter. The grill is getting less use. Beach and lakeside vacations are done, leaving you with memories and fantasies of where you'll go next after the next 300 days have passed (sigh). Even society is against your love of the sunny season. The Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes debuted this year on August 30th, with nearly a month of summer to go. And there are not just fall and Halloween decorations out at those big box stores, but Christmas, too! But, be strong; fall hasn't come yet and you will enjoy every last minute of this season!

One way to do this is in your kitchen with a dish that combines the old with the new seasons perfectly. It may have been too hot to even consider making soup a few weeks ago, but with the fresh nip in the air, it doesn't sound so stifling anymore. And when you can make it with some of summer's most notorious produce, it's a win-win, giving you the flavors of summer with the comfort of a soup. Caldo de queso just might be exactly what you need to transition into fall while still enjoying the best of summer.

What is it?

According to the food blog, Foodie and Wine, caldo de queso is a soup that originated in the Sonora region of Mexico. Traditionally it features potatoes and cheese, which really sounds like a soul-comforting and rich winter soup. However, this soup is more brothy than it is thick and creamy. Also known as caldo de papa and caldo de queso y papa (via M.A. kitchen), the soup is made by sautéing onion and garlic in oil. Fresh tomatoes are added and then the broth and herbs. Diced potatoes go in and everything is simmered until the potatoes are cooked through. At this time, roasted green chiles plus milk are added and the soup is warmed through. To serve, chunks of queso fresco cheese are added to bowls and the soup is ladled over the top, notes Foodie and Wine.

The cheese does matter. While queso fresco is creamy, it also holds its shape beautifully, even when submerged in hot liquid. You want the cheese to retain its shape, not become fully melted on the bottom of the bowl.

Add some summer to your soup

You can have a beautiful, summery variation of caldo de queso by not only using the classic potatoes but also zucchini or summer squash. In addition, you can add cherry tomatoes, which are (thankfully) still readily available at farmer's markets. Fresh corn cut off the cob and diced avocados would also give this soup an extra sunny vibe. Don't stop there, if you don't want to. Hot sauce, fried tortilla chips, and maybe a dollop of sour cream wouldn't be so bad either.

Queso fresco has become easier to find in recent years, but you can also use queso panela, Indian paneer, or Halloumi; all cheeses that don't melt easily, per Foodie and Wine. As far as the green chilies to use, you can use either Anaheim or poblano. Either one will give the soup the soft heat it traditionally calls for without setting your face on fire. After all, you've already suffered from the heat enough this year.