Click here to watch me make this soup on the WCSH6 Morning Report.
Can be Vegetarian
I haven’t been to New Hampshire for a few weeks so I’m really looking forward to hitting the XC ski trails this weekend in Jackson! There should be some fine spring skiing and snowshoeing.There’s something about snow and being outdoors that just makes me crave pub grub. Luckily, there’s plenty of pubs to choose from in Mt. Washington Valley, but when I also have to satisfy a cooking itch, this rich, soothing and cheesy soup is just the ticket. It’s unbelievably good. Cold damp weather be damned! This will warm you up and have you snoozing (post-activity) on the sofa in no time. It’s another adaptation from an old favorite 70’s cookbook, Bakery Lane Soup Bowl written by Marge Mitchell and Joan Sedgwick. These two ladies owned a popular restaurant by the same name in Middlebury, Vermont where they were known for their homemade soups, sandwiches and desserts. There’s so many good recipes in here that I still haven’t had a chance to make. I found out that they closed the restaurant in the late 70’s, set out for Arizona and opened Maude’s in Prescott. And wrote another cookbook in 1982, SOUP BOWL WEST I’ll bet they put their own spin on Southwestern cuisine. Stay tuned! You can really taste the beer in this soup. Utterly delicious. I used a bottle of Sam Adams that was kicking around the fridge, but if I had to buy beer…well, I’d choose Daymark from Portland’s own Rising Tide brewery. I just love the flavor. The beer/ale is definitely noticeable in this soup, so choose something you like. Plus, the beer will mellow as the soup ages in the fridge, so plan to make it ahead. For cheese, I always reach for blocks of Cabot cheddar to shred in my just turned 30 years old, Cuisinart food processor (I thought of throwing a party. 30 years with one machine – how many relationships last that long?). This recipe is fairly foolproof. Plus, you will want to make this ahead as I have found that an overnight stay, or longer in the fridge vastly improves the flavor. I like it best on day 2 or 3, day 3 being my favorite. How great is that? Serve the soup with a side of dark rye or pumpernickel, cold sliced sausage, mustard, pickles and a mugs of ale and make it a real pub meal. Make sure you put in plenty of miles on those skis! (or treadmill) Whatever works... Happy Cooking! xo Barbara
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (1 large onion)
- 1 cup finely chopped carrot (2 medium carrots)
- 1 cup finely chopped celery (2 stalks)
- ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- ⅓ cup diced tomato, canned or fresh
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
- 1 ½ cups pale ale or lager beer
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ teaspoon Hungarian half-sharp paprika (I use Penzey’s, or use a combo of sweet and hot paprika to taste)
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Garnish: finely chopped parsley or crumbled bacon
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and green pepper and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Uncover and add garlic and tomatoes, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and sprinkle the flour and dry mustard over the vegetables, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
- Stirring constantly, slowly add vegetable or chicken stock, followed by ale or lager beer, milk and heavy cream. Allow it to come to a simmer, uncovered, and keep it on a low simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure it does not boil by adjusting heat as necessary. It will thicken and be able to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add the shredded cheese by handfuls, stirring the soup between additions until it is melted and smooth. Add Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and salt, and stir for 2 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings accordingly.
- Tastes best, as many things do, after an overnight stay in the fridge. Reheat carefully. Serve in heated soup bowls, garnishing with chopped parsley and crumbled bacon if desired.