Monday, November 7, 2011

Beer and Cheddar Soup

How many of you utilize Kroger's digital coupons? I do, and I love it. The only bad thing about it is that you have to remember (when you go to the store) what all you had put on your kroger plus card. Well, I remembered that I had selected this digital coupon for Food & Wine magazine. It alloted me a dollar off the regular $4.99 price. Also, I knew I had till the end of October to utilize this discount. Well, I'm glad I did. The November issue of Food & Wine talks about Thanksgiving. They have plenty of other recipes as well. One of the "other" recipes I picked out was this Beer and Cheddar soup. I thought it sounded really good. I mean it contains beer, cheddar cheese, jalpenos, bacon, heavy cream. How could it possibly be bad? Well, it wasn't. Buuuut, it also wasn't totally awesome either. I definitely over-salted the soup a tad, which was a bummer. And, I ended up using smoked gouda because Whole Foods didn't have smoked cheddar. Also, I used a Pale Ale instead of a Pilsner or a lager. So, maybe it was partly my fault since I didn't follow the recipe exactly. My Dad really, really liked it. And, if you like beer then you'll love this soup. You could really taste the ale thru all that cheese. So, maybe it was just my palette.
Oh, a little tid-bit, I looked up if there are any immediate remedies for over-salting soups. I found that if you peel and quarter a large potato and let it sit in your soup for 15 minutes then discard it this will help eliminate some of the over-salting. My Dad confirmed today that it really did help. One last thing, obviously this soup is not a low-fat soup. So, I probably won't be making this soup very often. Enjoy!!

1/2 lb piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/3 inch thick (I just purchased a pack of bacon and chopped it into little pieces)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chopped thyme (I used 1.5 tsp of dried thyme)
1 12 oz bottle lager or pilsner
About 2 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 lb sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
4 oz smoked cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large saucepan cook your bacon pieces until crispy. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel and then place into a small bowl. Set aside. Next, add the celery, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and thyme into the same saucepan and cook over medium heat until the onion is tender. Add half the beer to the pot and cook until reduced by half. About 5 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring this to a simmer.

Next, take a small skillet and melt your butter. Add in the flour and cook over medium heat. Stir the mixture until lightly browned. This could take up to 2 minutes. Incorporate the roux into the soup and bring to a simmer. Cook until the soup has thickened. This could take about 8 minutes. Add the heavy cream, the cheeses, and the remaining beer. Simmer and stir occasioinally until thick and creamy. This could take up to 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper.

(click here for printable recipe)

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