- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups beer
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 cups milk or half and half
- 6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the vegetables in the butter for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another five minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Add the flour and dry mustard, stirring quickly to coat everything.
Then add the beer, chicken broth, hot sauce, and spices. Cook for ten minutes and then reduce temperature to medium low to prevent the dairy from curdling. Slowly add the half-and-half and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Do NOT allow it to boil.
Reduce heat even further and add handfuls of the shredded cheese at a time, stirring constantly. Once all the cheese is added, give it a few drops of Worcestershire and bring it back to a low simmer for ten minutes, or until thickened. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
Plus, it makes amazing leftovers.
Let's talk about beer for a second, shall we?
I don't claim to know anything about beer. In fact, as my friends and loyal followers know, I don't even like beer. But I love cooking with alcohol! So I deferred to my boyfriend, a craft beer snob, for his input. He told me a pale ale would work best for the soup, as it would infuse it with some fizzy, bitter beerness without overwhelming it, or darkening the color much.
Don't like pale ale? Make the soup with whatever you want! Hell, I don't care. It's your soup.