Cheddar and Beer Soup
Gourmet Soups, Stews, & Bisques
Smooth and rich, with the complex, hearty flavors of sharp cheddar and good ale, a little tang from mustard and Worcestershire, and a kick of horseradish, this soup is perhaps the ultimate comfort food. Topped with crumbled bacon and snipped chives, it will warm you even on the coldest, grayest winter day.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup diced celery
2/3 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 ounces Fond de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 8 cups hot water
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer, preferably a full-flavored ale
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and ground black pepper
Crumbled cooked bacon, for garnish
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the flour, stirring to coat the vegetables. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes, until the flour turns golden. Add the diluted Fond de Poulet Gold®gradually, whisking until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in beer, then add the cheese, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in the dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish sauce. Stir in heavy cream. Cook gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stay away from dark beers for this soup, since they can give it a bitter aftertaste.
Wine Pairing: An oaky Chardonnay or a Zinfandel--or pair the soup with the beer used in making it.