Hello! It seems that most of the US is experiencing bitterly cold temps right now, including us as we wait for the "polar vortex" to hit our neck of the woods Sunday and Monday. I don't know about you but I'm a little tired of the cold weather and it is only early January. We still have a couple of months at least of winter. Ugh. But on the positive side, cold weather is the best time to eat and cook one of our favorite foods; soups and stews of all kinds. This one is amazing if you like bacon and cheese and really, who doesn't.
Beer and Cheddar Soup
8-10 slices of thick cut bacon chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 of an onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
One 12 oz bottle of beer
3 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
4 TBS unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
8 oz sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz smoked cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper
Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp and fat is rendered. Transfer to paper towel with slotted spoon. Add celery, onion, garlic and thyme to bacon fat and cook until soft. Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
In a small skillet melt butter and then add the flour. Cook, stirring this until slightly browned, about 2 minutes, and then add to soup. Whisk until incorporated and continue to simmer until thickened.
Add the cheeses and the rest of the beer and simmer until thick and creamy. Stir in the bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Serve it up with some crusty bread.
There really is nothing like a pot of homemade soup simmering on the stove on a cold day, right?
Enjoy! And stay warm!! :)
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