This was a really thick soup - chowder is a good description. I used broth in the first step, and also added a bay leaf, thyme and some whole peppercorns. I feel these really enhance vegetable soups such as this. I used regular cheddar, shredded, and I did use rather more, plus an additional amount as a garnish. I nearly always have these ingredients around, so this is a good pantry dish. Even Mr Grumpy admitted he might eat this again.