I found this recipe in an ad from Williams-Sonoma a few weeks ago. And then I got an immersion blender for Christmas (trust me, I was extremely excited), and I knew my dream of eating this soup would come true.
You don't have to have an immersion blender. I have let many a soup cool a bit, and then blended it in batches in the regular blender. There's a fear of burning with the regular blender that I don't have with the immersion blender.
|Celery, carrots and onion waiting to go into the soup pot.|
adapted from Williams-Sonoma
4 slices of thick-sliced bacon
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 large onion, diced (because Hub is an onion-hater; if you are normal, you could use a whole onion)
3 carrots, peeled & diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced (I only had one clove, so I also added some garlic powder)
1/3 c. flour
1 c. pale ale (I used Boddington's because Hub has to drink the leftovers; it's the milkshake of beers)
1 tbsp. worcestershire
2 c. milk
2 c. chicken broth
1 1/4 lb. sharp cheddar, shredded
salt & pepper to taste
W-S also suggested toasted croutons and olive oil for garnish. I did neither.
In 4-5 quart pot, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Throw out all but 2 tbsp. of the bacon fat. Over medium heat, add butter and melt. Add onion, carrots and celery; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are softened (about 20 minutes). Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the ale and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up all the bits on the bottom of the pan, for 2-3 minutes. Add worcestershire, milk and broth. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer. Do not boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10-12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and blend with immersion blender (or regular blender--please let it cool a bit first!) until smooth.
Over medium-low heat, add cheese by the handful, stirring constantly. Do not boil! Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with crumbled bacon.
|Giant pile of cheese.|
|Finished soup. Get in my belly!|
Williams-Sonoma says this makes 6 servings. We had it for lunch, and I would say it's more like 8 servings. Well, unless everyone likes it as much as Hub and I did... The Flour-Children mostly rejected this. I think they don't like the beer taste. Funny liked it, but she loves every soup I have ever given to her. Silly also found it tolerable. The boys...well, you'd think I'd given them something horrid. Fools. I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious this soup was. I will definitely make it again, and just let those punky kids eat something else. I hate to waste perfectly tasty soup on whiners.
That sounds a little harsh. But I know all you parents out there know where I am coming from.
Beer + bacon + a mountain of cheese = LOVE.
Need more soup recipes? Check out Finding Joy in My Kitchen.