Cheesy Cheddar Ale Soup

  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 2 qts vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 bottle brown ale
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large stock pot, sauté onions and celery in vegetable oil.  Cook until tender but do not allow to brown.  Add garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant, stirring often.  Add the potatoes and cover with stock.  Bring to a boil, and then add beer.  Reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender.  Separately, in a small sauce pan, melt butter and cook until foamy.  Stir in flour to create a roux.  Cook until a sandy texture forms, but do not allow to brown.  Set aside.  Purée half of the soup using an immersion or regular blender, then return it to the pot. Add a small amount of the soup to the roux pan, and whisk out any lumps.  Add roux mixture into the stock pot and stir to incorporate.  Add milk and cheese, stirring often, and bring soup back up to a simmer allowing the roux to thicken it slightly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.