Friday, October 19, 2012

Brown Ale and Cheddar Soup 
Photo from original blog post on From Away - isn't it gorgeous?

Found this on Pinterest, via the FROM AWAY blog, and finally got around to trying it out last night. It was so super good that I had to share! Warning: it's intensely rich and probably quite horrible for you (you fry the onions, etc. in the leftover bacon grease...).  The following is directly from the blog post for a quick reference. Two things: we used a slightly aged cheddar (~ 6 months, Dubliner) and Newcastle brown ale and I really liked the results. Oh, and don't skip the thyme - it adds some amazing flavor!

Brown Ale and Cheddar Soup
Adapted from a recipe from Food and Wine
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 large jalapeño, ribbed, seeded and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One 12-ounce bottle brown or pale ale
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 12-ounce package of thick-cut bacon, diced
  • About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  • Additional sliced jalapeño, bacon, thyme, and/or diced tomato, to garnish

1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to drain on a paper towel. Crumble any overly large pieces between your fingers, or chop quickly with a knife.

3. Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the rendered fat in the saucepan.

4. Cook over moderate heat, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.

5. Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes.

6. Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and return to a simmer.

7. In a small skillet, melt the butter.

8. Whisk in the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

9. Whisk the roux into the soup until combined, and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.

10. Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheeses and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.

11. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

The website has gorgeous photos to explain each of the steps, so I would definitely check out the recipe here.

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