Famous Brown Jug Cheese Soup
Website Supplement to the story “Chef Made” that appeared in the December/January 2021 issue of Decatur Magazine.
The Brown Jug restaurant operated in Decatur from 1950-1989 and was a favorite place for residents to celebrate special events like homecoming and anniversaries. Their Cheese Soup recipe is legendary and has been passed on by family members and close friends for years and is still a favorite to serve during the holidays.
Circulating on social media are three versions of the famous Brown Jug Cheese Soup Recipe – two from friends of the owners and one from the daughter of the chef. Try all three to find your favorite!
“My mom received this years ago from one of the owners.” – Gracie Fringer
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 qt water
- 1 c chopped onions
- Cook 20 min. and add:
- 2 ½ c. cubed potatoes
- 20 oz. mixed vegetables
Cook about 30 min. more and add:
- 2 small or 1 lg. can of cream of chicken soup
- 1 lb. Velveeta, cubed
Stir until melted and blended.
“This is the recipe that I got from the Brown Jug’s owner and cook back in the early 70’s for Cheese Soup.” – Esther Stivers Krein
Cook 2 med. potatoes, 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery and 1 large onion (all ingredients chopped) until tender, save the liquid from cooking. Add one pkg. mixed veggies and 1/2 bag broccoli and cauliflower blend, cook until tender.
Cheese sauce: make a rue with 1 stick margarine, 1/2 cup flour, 2 cups whole milk and 1 pound of Velveeta cheese (cubed.) Cook until thick and boil for at least 2 minutes. Pour over the cooked veggies and broth, stir and serve.
“My name is Kathleen Reynolds Lynch. My dad was Maury Reynolds, chef at The Brown Jug. My dad gave me his recipe for cheese soup many years ago and made me promise not to share it. My dear father passed away in 2013. I think it is okay to share now.”
- 1 lb. of Cheese Whiz
- 1 ½ quarts of milk
- 1 pint of cream
- 1 cup frozen noodles (Ramen)
- 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 cups chopped celery
- ¼ lb. butter
- 3 tsp flour
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 2 oz. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
- Lawry Salt
- white pepper
In a saucepan, melt Cheese Whiz with 1-quart milk and cream. Cook frozen noodles in ½ quart of milk. Steam frozen vegetables and ice chill. In a small fry pan, cook celery in butter then add flour and cornstarch. Place all ingredients in a double boiler pan or crock pot (much easier.) Add 2 oz. of Lea and Perrins, salt and white pepper to taste. Cook on low heat for at least 2 hours.
BROWN JUG FRENCH DRESSING
(written down exactly as Maury said)
- ½ cup Wesson oil
- 1/3 cup catsup
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 1/3 cup onion flakes
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt (or garlic salt)
- Dash of pepper
Mix all ingredients well and store in refrigerator. Keeps a long time.