Cheddar Cheese-Beer Soup with Black Pepper Croutons
Source of Recipe
From "The Cheese Lover's Cookbook & Guide" by Paula Lambert
"This reminds me of the kind of hearty food that is served in Wisconsin up along Lake Michigan on cold winter nights. When I was at Kemper Hall, a boarding school in Kenosha, one winter was so cold that the lake was frozen solid one mile out from the shore. So I know that warm foods like this are a necessity. This is a great soup to take along on a camping or hunting trip, in a Thermos bottle, then served in mugs or just passed around the campfire for a swig."
List of Ingredients
Black pepper croutons:
◦ 2 tablespoons olive oil
◦ 4 slices stale white bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
◦ 2 cloves garlic, minced
◦ 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Cheddar cheese-beer soup:
◦ 3 tablespoons olive oil
◦ 1 medium onion, chopped (1 ¼ cups)
◦ 1 clove garlic, minced
◦ 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (2 cups)
◦ 1 cup beer
◦ 4 cups chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
◦ ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
◦ ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
◦ Several dashes Tabasco sauce
◦ 6 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded (1 ½ cups)
◦ Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
◦ 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish
For the black pepper croutons, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread and sauté, tossing and stirring until lightly browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the garlic and pepper over the bread and continue to sauté, tossing and stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bread cubes are golden brown. Remove from the heat and place on a rack to cool. (The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)
For the Cheddar cheese-beer soup, heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent but not browned. Add the potatoes and sauté for 10 minutes, or until they lose their raw look. Add the beer and cook for 15 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Purée the soup in a blender in two batches, if necessary, return the soup to a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Combine the dry mustard, Worcestershire, and Tabasco in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Stir into the soup and increase the heat to medium. Add the cheese one handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, pour into large heated soup bowls. Garnish with the chopped chives and the black pepper croutons.
Serves 4 to 6