Beer and Cheddar Soup
- ½ pound piece of slab bacon, sliced ⅓-inch thick and cut into ⅓-inch dice
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 (12 oz.) bottle lager or pilsner
- 2¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) Darigold butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup Darigold heavy cream
- 8 oz. shredded Darigold sharp white-cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon smoky paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp (5-7 minutes). Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside. Add celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring until softened (5-7 minutes). Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half (5-6 minutes). Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring until lightly browned (about 2 minutes). Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened (3-4 minutes). Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheese and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy and cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked bacon and the smoky paprika; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of broth to the soup if too thick.
RECIPE YIELD/SERVING SIZE
Makes 6 servings.
Serve the soup with garlic-rubbed toast.