Yesterday Kelly sent me a picture of the soup she made for dinner… I could practically smell how yummy it was over my Blackberry… Fast foward to her telling me it was Beer and Cheddar soup and me thinking, “WHAT THE FUZZ?”. If someone had told me that beer and cheddar would make a good soup combination I probably would’ve vomited in my mouth a little bit.. It just goes to show you that you never can discount an odd pairing…
1/2 pound piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/3 inch thick and cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
One 12-ounce bottle lager or pilsner
About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Garlic-rubbed toasts, for serving
1.In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl. Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes. Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
2.In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheeses and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of broth if the soup is too thick. Serve the soup with garlic toasts.
The cheddar soup can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm gently and thin with additional broth. .