Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cheddar Cheese & Beer Soup

A cozy soup for a chilly day.  This soup comes together very easily and quickly. 
Add biscuits, or homemade Artisan Bread and salad and you are set for a great dinner.

If you don't have extra sharp cheddar, you could use regular cheddar.  To give it a 'sharper' bite, add about a 1/2 tsp of dry English Mustard powder with the flour and butter mixture. I used extra sharp white cheddar which was great, but it might be a nicer color with yellow cheddar!

NOTE: I made this a couple times, first time with a 12oz (1 1/2 cups) beer and 2 1/2 cups milks, but it had a bit more bitterness from a double portion of beer, so I suggest the ratios below!

Serves about 4
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp. Flour
3 cups Milk
2-4 tsp garlic, finely minced (I did 4 tsp, and it was quite garlicky)
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup dark beer

Chopped chives, or parsley (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Combine butter, flour, red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté on low heat until melted and it comes together into a paste.  Cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat.  

Add the milk while whisking.  Heat gently, and when starting to thicken, add cheese and beer and continue to whisk until smooth and melted. Adjust taste with salt and pepper, I was surprised that it needed quite a bit of salt to have it taste right to me.  Don't boil.

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