Charlotte Wedding Planner :: Two for Tuesday

Hope y’all had a wonderful Labor Day! I spent it lounging by the pool…tough life. Today’s recipe is a yummy, creamy, and cheesy Cheddar Ale Soup! Make this for a cozy night at home with the hubbs. Just reading the directions and ingredients it looked a bit involved to make, but by doing good prep work it was easy! I pre-measured all of the ingredients and has them sitting in little bowls next to the big pot on the stove ready to go. This made my life so much easier! This recipe is for 6, so I cut it in half and it fed the two of us perfectly, with no left overs.

This recipe calls for a pale ale, I used Torpedo in the green box. It calls for the just the right amount of beer to give it the flavor but not too much. Perfect! And instead of making my own croutons, I took the easy route and just used the ones from a bag and it was just as delicious.

Cheddar Ale Soup 
adapted just slightly from Williams-Sonoma (originally seen on Fake Ginger)

6 thick-cut bacon slices, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pale ale
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk (I used whole)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
croutons (optional, for garnish)

Set a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, stirring occasionally, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot.

Add the butter and give it a minute to melt, then mix in the onion, carrots and celery. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic, cooking just until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently (you’re just trying to get the raw flour flavor cooked off). Add the beer and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a thick paste, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, milk and chicken broth until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the soup come to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to continue simmering for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat under the pot and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or, if you don’t have one, in a traditional blender – you’ll probably want to do it in 2 batches.)

Set the pan over medium-low heat and, stirring constantly, add the cheese a little at a time. Be careful not to allow the soup to boil. Continue until you’ve added all of the cheese and the soup is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the bacon and croutons.

Serves 6

Homemade Croutons

day old bread (I used French bread)
olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to mix well.

Baked for about 15 minutes, or until the cubes are golden brown and crisp.


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