It has been POURING rain here for about a week now; like serious torrential downpour. It is funny how our bodies adapt to the climate we are living in. If I was in Colorado, a rainy 65-70 degrees would be refreshing, but here it is COLD! So even though I’m sure many of you picture me lounging on the beach everyday, surfing at sunset, etc… I can assure you that other than my daily trek to work, I am couped up in my house wanting the same thing you want- comfort food and soup. Luckily I had an awesome recipe saved from a while back- Cheddar Ale Soup from Tracy’s Culinary Adventures.
I am not a fan of beer, but I really love the flavor it adds when you cook with it. This soup is the perfect example of that. The beer gives this cheese soup an extra flavor that is addicting. I think it is safe to say that we all love cheese (well most of us) so imagine a soup packed with cheese plus an extra pale ale flavor kick. Perfection. I have to tell you that I used the new Kraft fat-free cheddar cheese and skim milk for my soup (trying to be a bit healthier you know) but the cheese didn’t melt and incorporate the same way a full-fat cheese would. Either way, the soup tasted amazing. So, if you don’t mind a bit of a different texture, I’d suggest using the fat-free cheese for a healthier soup.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup pale ale
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups milk (I used whole)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1¼ lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- croutons (optional)
- bacon bits (optional)
- Heat the butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery; cook until soft (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and flour and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add 1 cup pale ale while stirring to incorporate it smoothly. Stir until a thick paste forms (2-3 minutes).
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 additional minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and puree it with an immersion blender, or blend in a blender.
- Return the pot to medium-low heat and slowly add the cheese while stirring. Do not allow the soup to boil.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Top with crutons and bacon bits before serving.
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