Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup

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I think it's time to round out Oktoberfest with a hearty Beer Cheese Soup. I'm sure you have a lot of extra beer lying around the house from all the Oktoberfest activities that went on earlier this month, so might has well crack open a bottle, take a sip, crack open another bottle for the soup and have yourself a tasty dinner.
I loved this soup. I love soup in general, but one that's packed with cheese always seems to be a winner. I'm not a huge beer drinker, but it's such a wonderful compliment to the mixture of cheese, vegetables and bacon. It's hearty and crisp for a fall evening. I paired this with BLT sandwiches and a side of French bread (for dipping, of course) and it was a perfect meal. Enjoy!

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bottle pale ale, such as Sierra Nevada
  • 2 cups sharp yellow Cheddar, freshly shredded
  • 1 cup Gruyere, freshly shredded
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • Bread, for dipping
Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once done, remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Remove all but 1-2 tbsp. of the rendered fat.

Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onions and cayenne to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock, mustard and Worcestershire and simmer until the veggies are very soft, about 15 minutes.

Add the ale, simmer, about 5 minutes, and then puree with an immersion blender until smooth (leave some chunks if you want texture). Add the Cheddar, Gruyere and half-and-half and stir until melted through and smooth. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with a piece of bread and pieces of bacon on top.

Source: Adapted from Food Network

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