Cheddar-Ale Soup

Timmy and I had a great weekend out in Colorado, but it ended too soon. We came back with just enough vegetables to make zucchini surprise. I also added some of our own peppers to it as well and served it with basmati rice... the good kind. My brother was telling me that he's been able to buy wheat basmati which intrigues me. I'll have to look around for it.

I have to say that I love the smell of cooked mirepoix with freshly added garlic. Garlic makes everything smell and taste better in my opinion! I'm super excited to try this soup, I used to go to a restaurant in Orlando when I was younger that had the best beer and cheese soup I've ever come across. Since that time, I've been trying find the perfect blend of flavors to recreate it.

Cheddar-Ale Soup
Recipe adapted from William-Sonoma

6 strips of bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 stalk celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pale ale
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
cayenne pepper, to taste
toasted croutons, for garnish

  • In a 4 1/2 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and melt the butter. Add the onion, carrots and celery, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the ale and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, milk and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender or a in a regular blender {I used my Blendtec} until smooth.
  • Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the cheese by the handful, stirring constantly; do not allow the soup to boil. After all the cheese is melted, re-blend until smooth.
  • Season with cayenne pepper to taste and garnish with croutons and the bacon and serve immediately.

I made homemade croutons for this soup, we always have extra bread around so I figured it would be a great idea to just make my own. Pumpernickel croutons would have been amazing topped on this soup as well.



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