Extra-Sharp Cheddar Beer Soup
You might at first glance think this soup would be time consuming, but honestly it's a very simple recipe — the most time-consuming task is shredding the cheese. I rarely buy cheese that's already been grated and this time was no exception. Go with a block of quality sharp cheddar and the flavor will really jump out of every spoonful.
Let's pull out that cheese grater and get to it!
Recipe adapted from a favorite first published on Epicurious
- 2 medium leeks, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (12-oz) bottle ale
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb extra-sharp cheddar, grated
- 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water and drain in a colander. Cook leeks, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaf with butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to coat, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and sprinkle flour over vegetables, stirring to coat for about 3 minutes.
Whisk in milk, broth and beer, then simmer, whisking occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Now we're getting somewhere!
Add cheese in handfuls, stirring, and cook until cheese is melted for 3 to 4 minutes without boiling, then remove your bay leaf.
Serve into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled bacon (or forgo this ingredient for a vegetarian option).
Even though Punxsutawney Phil is calling for an early spring, it is still cold outside. This is a wonderfully satisfying soup to curl up with through the rest of the winter!