¼ cup unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (I like Better Than Bullion paste)
1 (12-oz) can IPA beer-see other options below
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 1 tablespoon Dijon or yellow mustard
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups (about 1 pound) extra-sharp Cheddar
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
3 scallions, chopped
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaf, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5-8 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and sprinkle the flour over vegetables. Continue to cook stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.
- While whisking add the milk, broth, and beer. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, combine the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir the mixture into the soup. Cook for 3 more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup using a stand blender or immersion blender.
- Put the pureed soup back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the cheddar cheese by handfuls, whisking constantly, and cook until the cheese is melted. Do not let the soup boil. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with crumbled bacon and scallions as a garnish.
- Beer options-the beer you choose will determine the intensity of flavor. I have used IPA and stout for this recipe. The stout is a heavier, smokier beer and will add that level of intensity to the soup. Use a beer you love to drink!
- Add cooked broccoli and shredded cooked chicken to this soup for a really tasty stew-like dish. Delicious!