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Monday, June 21, 2010

Beer Cheese Soup

This is a rich and hearty soup that would be perfect for dinner on a cold and snowy night. Serve with a loaf of crusty french bread and a good dark beer.

4-1/2 cups Chicken Broth, divided
1-1/4 cups Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 slices Bacon, diced
2 TB Butter
1/2 cup Onion, finely diced
1/2 cup Celery, finely diced
1/2 cup Carrot, finely diced
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Flour
2 - 1/2 cups 1% Milk
3/4 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1 (12 oz) can Beer (nothing too dark)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Simmer 2 cups broth and potatoes in a small saucepan. Cook 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Transfer potato mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid to avoid spills. Blend until smooth. Set mixture aside.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook bacon until slightly crisp and drain drippings. Add butter to the pan, then add onion, celery and carrots to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level flour with a knife. Combine flour, remaining 2 1/2 cups broth and milk in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pan and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened; stir constantly with a whisk. Add potato mixture, both cheddar cheeses, and Worcestershire, pepper, and salt to the pan; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Add beer to pan and bring to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with black pepper and a sprinkle of cheese, if desired. Serves 4-6.

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