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Texas Gold Cheddar & Pale Ale Soup


The calendar says it is officially fall and surprisingly, it actually feels like fall. Bring on the comfort food please! 

This traditionally English recipe has a Texas twist. The Veldhuizens and Southern Star Brewery are together at last, in soup form. I hope you find yourself enjoying pints of ale and warm bowls of soup this weekend, with a little help from the Dairymaids, of course.

2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cup)
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups free-range chicken broth
12 oz Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Coleman's dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb Texas Gold Cheddar, grated (4 cups)

Cook the leeks, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf in 1/2 stick of butter in a large pot or saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Remove vegetables and puree in a food processor or blender. Melt remaining butter in the same pot; add flour and brown on low heat for 2 - 3 minutes. Return vegetables to pot. Add milk, broth, and beer while whisking and simmer on moderate heat for 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes (do not boil). The whisk is your friend.
Serve with Slow Dough baguette and you may not even need a spoon (seriously, this soup is essentially a big batch of sauce).

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