Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hot Soup, Cool Music: Will Dailey's Beer and Cheese Soup

Will Dailey's Beer and Cheese Soup

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced leeks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle beer, divided (we used a white ale, use whatever you like!)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Big pinch black pepper
Big pinch cayenne (plus more to garnish, optional)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup half & half
4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable or a combination)
4 cups grated cheese (we used a combination of sharp cheddar and gruyere)
Croutons (try 6 slices of rye bread+1/4 cup olive oil+2 teaspoons dried oregano+salt. Toast in 375 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes)

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter and add carrots, onion, celery and leeks. Add a small pinch of salt, stir well, and cook vegetables 15-20 minutes (do not brown), until onions are sweet and mostly tender. Add garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes.

Add 1/2 the beer and stir well, scraping up any stuck bits. Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Add flour gradually, stirring well after each addition to blend well. After flour is fully combined, continue to stir for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast flour.

Add half & half and broth, gradually, stirring well until base is well-blended and creamy. Bring soup to a low simmer and cover. Cook 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

Add grated cheese and stir well until cheese melts (you can increase the heat slightly if necessary). Cover pot and cook at very low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let soup sit a few minutes before serving with an optional dusting of cayenne and a mandatory pile of croutons.

"PS" (writes Will) "this tastes twice as good the next day."