Winter Soup---Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon Crumbles
Author: Tonja Engen
- 1⁄2 pound bacon, cut into 1⁄3-inch dice
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) favorite beer (I used Surly Furious)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 1⁄2 stick (1⁄4 cup) butter
- 1⁄3 cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
- In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon onto paper towels.
- Next, add the celery, onion, and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook over moderate heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the beer and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a lively simmer for 12 minutes.
- Next, add the Tabasco, cayenne, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the milk, whisking until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add all the cheeses, stirring until incorporated. Then add this cheese mixture to the Dutch oven. Mix well.
- Using an immersion blender or regular blender, process soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Crumble bacon bits on top and serve with pretzel bites or pretzel rolls.