Fall Beer & Cheddar Soup
- 12 ounces beer Lager or Pilsner work well
- 1/2 pound piece of thick slab bacon diced
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 celery rib finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeno finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 pound smoked cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 pinch Cayenne pepper or more if you like it spicy
- salt and pepper
- Open beer and let stand while dicing vegetables.
- In a large saucepan, sauté the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towels. Reserve some for garnish.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery jalapeno, garlic and thyme and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add half the beer and and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
- 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 Cayenne, salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of broth if the soup is too thick.