Cheddar-Ale Soup

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.nutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This soup from Williams Sonoma’s Soup of the Day is rich, creamy, and comforting making it the perfect end of the week, post-holiday season dinner.  If you like beer and cheese, you’ll love this.  The flavors are similar to a spoonable Welsh rarebit and since the ingredients are so simple, be sure to choose a Cheddar cheese and a beer that you like.  And because the soup really comes together quickly, make sure you are ready to eat before you begin cooking.

For an added treat, serve these with hot buttered soft pretzels.

CHEDDAR-ALE SOUP

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 leek, white and green parts only, thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery rib, diced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

12 ounces good quality ale (I prefer Bass or Newcastle)

2 cups shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the leek, carrots, and celery and season generously with salt and pepper.  Saute until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and dried mustard until incorporated.  Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the broth and beer and bring to a simmer over high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking to break up any flour lumps, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cheeses and whisk constantly until completely melted, about 3-5 minutes.  Do not allow the soup to boil otherwise the cheese will become stringy in texture.
  • Off the heat; stir in the cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  Adjust the seasonings and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

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