Cheddar-Ale Soup


by Jess Thomson
Serves 4 | Prep time: 45 minutes
From Edible Seattle March/April 2009

Serve topped with sourdough croutons or crumbled bacon.

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) bottle amber or pale ale
1 pound good sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Worcestershire sauce, to taste

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over low heat. When melted, add the onion, and cook and stir for 10 minutes, until the onion is clear. Add the garlic, flour, and mustard, and cook and stir for one minute. Add the milk 1/4 cup at a time, whisking between additions—the mixture will thicken considerably. Add the broth and the ale in a slow, steady stream, while whisking. When all the liquids have been added, bring the soup to a brief boil, then simmer until the ale’s foam subsides.

Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the cheese in, a few small handfuls at a time, until all the cheese has been added and the mixture is smooth. (You may need to put the pot back over low heat to melt the very last of the cheese, but do allow the mixture to simmer.) Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, and serve hot.

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