½ cup butter
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 shallot, chopped
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 (14 ½ ounce) cans chicken broth
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat; add ¼ cup chopped cilantro, onion, and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
Stir in flour, and cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, 7 minutes or until mixture is golden brown.
Add chicken broth, stirring rapidly until blended; add bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Stir in pepper and whipping cream; cook 5 minutes.
Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding vegetables.
Add shredded Monterey Jack cheese and remaining ¼ cup chopped cilantro.
Pour soup into individual serving bowls.
Yield: 2 quarts
Picture by Starla