Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beer Cheese Soup

This soup is wonderful: the sweet milk, the bitter beer, and the salty cheese meld together to make your mouth very happy. The creamy texture is complemented perfectly by the crunch of croutons. So the next time the day is blustery or the night is dark and cold, warm up the people you love with this hardy, simple soup.

Servings: 4-6 (depends on your appetite)
Time: Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 20 minutes
Hardware: Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a bowl, a large soup pot, an immersion blender (or a food chopper, or food processor), a whisk, a wooden spoon, a ladle, serving bowls
Optional: a small frying pan, a plate covered in a paper towel

  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½ a leek
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or veggie)
  • 2 cups of brown ale (I used New Castle)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 4 cups of shredded cheddar (the best you can afford)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Black pepper and sea salt croutons
  • 4 pieces of bacon (optional)
  1. If you are using the bacon, fry it until it is crisp. Put it on the paper towel covered plate to drain.
  2. Slice the leek as thin as possible. Separate it into rings. Place the leeks into a large bowl of cool water and swish around to remove any dirt. Drain.
  3. Clean and dice the celery, carrots, and garlic.
  4. Place the butter in the pot and melt on medium. Add the veggies to the butter and cook on medium until the veggies are soft, about 7 minutes. Purée the veggies.
  5. In the soup pot, whisk the puréed veggies and the flour until it is the consistency of paste. DO NOT allow the mixture to brown.
  6. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Slowly stir in the broth and the beer. When the foam has disappeared, turn the soup up and allow it to boil for 2- 3 minutes.
  7. Turn the soup back down to medium and stir in the the milk. DO NOT LET THE SOUP BOIL FROM THIS POINT ON!
  8. Add a cup of the cheese. Stir until it is completely melted. Continue to add the cheese by the cup, stirring, and melting until all the cheese has been added.
  9. Allow the soup to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls, place 2 grinds of black pepper onto each serving. Place a few pieces of crumbled bacon and a few croutons in the center of each bowl. Serve right away.

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