Wisconsin Cheddar Beer Soup
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4 inch dice (1 cup)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 oz)
1 (12-oz.) bottle ale (such as Bass or Newcastle)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lb extra sharp Wisconsin cheddar cheese, grated
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled.
Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating water, then lift out leeks and drain in a colander.
Cook leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaf in butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low and sprinkle flour over vegetables, then cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add milk, broth, and beer in a stream, whisking, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Add cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (do not boil). Discard bay leaf.
Serve sprinkled with bacon.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Notes: My kids love this over large pasta shells, I simply reduce the amount of chicken broth for a thicker sauce.
Pairs Well With
This is a very hearty and delicious soup!