My brother’s birthday is in October, so we celebrate with an Octoberfest theme. This is the soup I make for the appetizer, which the menfolk of the family always enjoy. Beer & Cheese? Of course they like it!
CHEDDAR ALE SOUP (serves 6)
5tbs Butter 2 cups pale ale (whatever you’re drinking)
1 large leek, finely chopped 2 bay leaves
1 cup of celery, finely chopped 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup parsnips, finely chopped 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large cloves of garlic, minced 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1& 1/2 cups crumbled Stilton Cheese
4 cups chicken broth (canned is fine) Salt & Pepper to taste
Melt butter over low heat in a large pot, add the leek, celery and parsnips. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes or until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and the beer. Add the bay leaves & cayenne. Bring to a boil slowly, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t overflow. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until flavors come together and the soup has reached a nice consistency, about 1 hour.
Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Add the cheeses a little at a time, stirring until almost melted after each addition. Season with salt & pepper.