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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cheddar and beer soup (British - Scottish)

A delicious soup that warms your soul especially in chilly days. Tastes like sweet-and-earthy brew with melted cheese and veggies. With an optional hint of smokiness from the bacon croutons (you can exclude those if you want to keep it vegetarian, but don't forget to also replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock in that case). Try to get your hands on British ale and cheese for it if you can, to add to the traditional flavor.
This is a traditional Scottish / British recipe. Which, if it were up to us, every cuisine should adapt. 
Enjoy :).
Recipe source: here.

P.S: We had it with slices of German sausage and cabbage bread. The match was made in heaven for cold days :)

Last year: Tandoori chicken skewers with field salad and lemon raita.
Two years ago: Ricotta and cinnamon pancakes with raspberry sauce and pomegranate seeds and Bavarian white radish salad

Ingredients (serves 4):
  • 1 large celery root wedge
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 leek (white and pale green part)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 30 g butter (Irish, preferably, golden-hued, 82% fat)
  • 20 g all-purpose flour
  • 250 ml whole-fat milk
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 250 ml pale blond beer (ale)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 300 g Cheddar, extra-sharp, grated (we used an Irish and a Scottish specialty)
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (to use as croutons)

Chop up the veggies (leek, celery, carrot). Melt the butter in a large soup pot (preferably cast-iron or at least heavy-bottomed). Add the veggies, garlic and bay leaf:

Cook them on high heat until they begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour. Mix very well and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the milk, broth and beer and stir well:

Cook for 5 more minutes. Add the salt and pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Mix again. Add the cheese, torn up into bits:

Mix well until all the cheese is melted and blended (3 to 4 minutes). Remove from the heat immediately (cheese should not boil). Discard the bay leaf, transfer to soup bowls and dig in! :)

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