Cheddar and Ale Soup

This creamy, cheesy soup is made even better with beer. Sharp, mature cheddar is a perfect foil for a flavorful ale, and a garnish of chopped chives adds a fresh note.

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

2 cups finely chopped onion

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 cups chicken broth

12 oz. pale ale or lager

1 cup milk

3 cups shredded Irish cheddar cheese

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup chopped chives

2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

  1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the contents of the pan and stir in with a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula to make sure there are no lumps. Stir over medium heat for a couple of minutes to cook the flour. Stir in the Dijon, then gradually whisk in the chicken broth, beer and milk. Stir frequently until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the cheese and salt and continue whisking until the cheese is melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Serve in bowls, topped with chives and bacon, if using.

Yield: 7 servings