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Beer-and-Cheddar Soup
© Con Poulos

Beer-and-Cheddar Soup

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • FAST
  • MAKE-AHEAD

When Jonathon Erdeljac opened his new restaurant, Jonathon's Oak Cliff, in Dallas, he knew he wanted to serve this rich soup. It's a favorite of his, especially with jalapeños and smoky bacon stirred in.

  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.
Make Ahead The cheddar soup can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm gently and thin with additional broth.