Barbara Bretton

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Vermont Cheddar and Ale Soup

I love Vermont, I love cheddar, I don't love beer but this is still one great soup! Perfect for a cold winter's night.


2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons thyme
1 chef potato, peeled, diced
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
12 ounces ale (or a good beer will do)
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups plus 1 cup Vermont cheddar cheese (of course, you can substitute)
Chopped parsley

In butter sweat onion, carrots, celery and pepper over medium heat for 15 minutes, until soft. Add thyme, potato, and chicken stock; simmer until potato is soft, about 15 minutes. While this is simmering, make the roux: melt 1/2 cup butter over medium-low heat. Stir in flour, stir 5 minutes; do not brown. When potato is soft, whisk roux into pot; stir and allow to thicken. Add beer, continue to stir. Add milk; stir to combine; allow to simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mustard, sauces, salt and pepper; taste to adjust seasonings. Whisk in cheddar, taste again. Do not allow soup to boil after adding cheese. Pour into bowls, topping each bowl with 2 tablespoons grated cheddar and a little fresh parsley.


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