Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

As part of the St. Paddy’s Day dinner party we hosted for our friends last year, I made this rich delicious cheddar ale soup from Williams-Sonoma. It was sooo good! But, so filling. We served it as a first course, yet it’s hearty enough — especially if paired with bread — to function as an entire meal. This recipe is way too fattening to bother with calculating Weight Watchers PointsPlus — save it for  splurge occasion. And definitely use good ale!

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Definitely go with a good Irish ale!

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Every recipe ought to start with bacon! Real bacon!

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

And go with real butter. No point in the diet stuff for this dish.

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Add the flour to your sauteed vegetables.

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Add the ale. Since this only uses 1 cup of ale, go ahead and drink the rest of the bottle!

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Add the Worcestershire.

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Add the milk and broth.

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

After simmering for 10-12 minutes, remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Add the cheese and melt over a medium-low heat while constantly stirring.

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup

Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with bacon and bacon, and drizzle with oil.

Irish Cheddar Ale Soup
 
Weight Watchers Info: Don’t bother if you're not willing to splurge
Recipe type: First Course
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices, cut into 3-inch strips
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1¼ lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Toasted croutons for garnish
  • Olio novello for drizzling
Instructions
  1. In a 4½-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the onion, carrots and celery, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ale and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, milk and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
  3. Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the cheese by the handful, stirring constantly; do not allow the soup to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish with croutons and the bacon and drizzle with olio novello. Serve immediately.

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