Beer-and-Cheddar Soup

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Ingredients

  1. 1/2 pound piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/3 inch thick and cut into 1/3-inch dice
  2. 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  3. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  5. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  7. One 12-ounce bottle lager or pilsner
  8. About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  9. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  10. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  11. 1 cup heavy cream
  12. 1/2 pound sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  13. 4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  14. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  15. Garlic-rubbed toasts, for serving
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl. Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes. Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  2. In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheeses and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of broth if the soup is too thick. Serve the soup with garlic toasts.
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Beer-and-Cheddar Soup

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