Throwback of the House: Pickle Cheese Soup

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Todd Ehlers, Wikimedia Commons
Robin Wheeler writes for the blog Poppy Mom. After years of making and eating fancy food, Robin is sick of it all. She's returning to the basics: recipes that haven't surfaced in three decades. She reports on the results for Gut Check every Tuesday.

The Polish Dill Pickle soup at the Fountain on Locust is one of St. Louis' hottest dishes. Owner Joy Christenen recently made the media rounds, giving instructions on how to make this concoction of vegetable broth, potatoes, sour cream, milk and pureed dill pickles. Unorthodox as it may seem, the soup's fantastic.

So who am I to judge the recipe for pickle cheese soup in Favorite Recipes of America: Meat? Sure, it sounds odd, but it could be a hidden gem.

The recipe's a basic, bland cheese soup. Make a white roux, add broth and milk, simmer, stir in shredded cheddar, salt, dry mustard, and one quarter of a drop of hot sauce. That's all the heat people in 1968 could handle without running for the Di-Gel. For the crowning touch, stir in a bunch of sweet gherkins, chunked.

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Robin Wheeler
Do you see a bit of a disconnect? Aside from the obvious that sweet gherkins and cheese soup should never hang out in the same pot?

This recipe's from a meat cookbook. There's no meat. This recipe was included in the meat tome to punish those damn hippie vegetarians. You think you're too good to eat a steak like a real American? Well, I've got some meat-free soup for ya, Mr. Abbie Hoffmann!

If it wasn't for the already-open carton of chicken broth in my fridge, I would have used veggie broth for spite.

I'm not a fan of sweet gherkins, so there's no way I can give an unbiased opinion. I'm too busy working myself into a panic attack because no matter how many times I wash my hands they still smell like sweet gherkins, and I'm pretty sure the smell is going to suffocate me in my sleep.

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Robin Wheeler
My husband loves a good gherkin. He inspected the soup, took a bite, and whispered, "Um, I think someone accidentally dropped a pickle in the cheese soup."

Leave the pickle soup to the Fountain on Locust. They're not mean like the Favorite Recipes of America bastards.
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