We like this beer-cheese soup with a kick (the brown aleâ€™s nuttiness tames the heat and the cheddarâ€™s sharpness), but you should adjust the red pepper and hot sauce to your taste. Serve the liquid gold in hollowed-out pretzel buns, or top with mini pretzels for crunch. Keep the soup warm in a Thermos up to 3 hours.
Makes: 6 to 8 servingsIngredients:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup finely diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 11⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 11⁄2 cups brown ale
- 11⁄2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 dashes hot sauce, or more to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3⁄4 cup drained and finely diced pimientos
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 10 to 12 ounces pre-shredded)
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- mini pretzels, for garnish
1. In a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, less than 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until toasty and golden, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Slowly add the broth and cream, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Stir in the beer, mustard, hot sauce and red pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil, whisking frequently.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently, whisking often, until slightly thickened, about 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the cheese a little at a time until velvety, thick and creamy. Stir in the pimientos and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Ladle into individual bowls and float a few mini pretzels on top of each serving.