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Vermont Cheddar & Ale Soup

Vermont Ale SoupThis recipe came to me by a friend a few months ago. My apologizes but I can’t remember who.

It’s easy, but takes a little time. You can’t just toss in all the ingredients and call it a day. It must be layered in with each layer having it’s time to stew.

There is plenty. The recipe says it makes six servings, but I’m not sure what they consider a serving size. I think it makes about 8-10. In my opinion, it’s a heavy soup and I can’t eat too much with having a beer and bread on the side. – A must have.

You will also have to use an immersion blender. You can use a regular blender but then you have to pour hot liquid out of the pot, and the blender can release burps of hot fluid all over the place. And, this is exactly why I’ve been wanting an immersion blender. If you’ve used a regular blender with hot liquids, then you know how dangerous it can be; not to mention, the mess. I was so excited because the Boy just bought me an immersion blender and this is the first recipe I got to use it. I love it and highly recommend it. You will get lots of use out of it. It’s also a mini food processor.

Ingredients

2 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 medium carrots, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced (I left this out by accident. It’s listed in the ingredients but not the instructions, therefore, I forgot it. The soup is still really good).
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 cup flour
1 (12 oz) bottle ale (I used Smithwick’s)
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups grated cheddar (I used Vermont cheddar)
1 cup green onions (This is for garnish, so I left it out. Especially, since I plan to freeze most of it.)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (Again, this is for garnish. I left it out, and plan to use store bought real crumbled bacon.)
Sea salt and ground pepper

Instructions

Add the diced bacon to a large heavy-bottom pot and put over medium-high heat.

Cook until the bacon fat is released and the bacon begins to crisp.

Add the butter and onions and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add leeks, celery, carrots, dry mustard, pinch of sea salt and ground pepper. I’m assuming this is were you put the garlic.

Saute until the vegetables soften, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Don’t worry if it sticks to the bottom. The beer will pick it up.

Sprinkle the flour in and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring so it is well incorporated.

Pour in the beer and cook until the liquid reduces by half. About 7 minutes.

Whisk in the milk and chicken stock. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to blend while still in the pot. Blend into a smooth puree.

Add grated Vermont Cheddar to the soup. Stirring frequently until it melts.

Do not allow to boil. I used a low-medium heat at this point.

Served with garnish of green onions and crumbled bacon.

Tip: If you like your soup thicker, reserve 1 cup of the 2 cups of chicken stock. If you want it thinner, add the reserve in when adding the cheese. I put both cups in and still felt it was thick.Ā  I will freeze parts in my freezer-safe soup containers. – Grab and go during the work week.

I hope you enjoy it. We did. If you make it or a different version, please let me know your thoughts. I love sharing ideas.

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