When I came across a recipe for an ale and cheddar soup recently on From and Away I immediately pinned it thinking that it would be perfect to make some time around St. Patrick's Day. In addition to the ale and cheddar this soup contains plenty of bacon and spicy jalapenos peppers so there was really no way that I could resist making it! This recipe starts out by cooking the bacon, and I used a double smoked bacon to add a smokiness, and then uses the bacon grease to saute the onions, celery and jalapeno peppers so that you do not loose any of that bacon-y goodness. Next up is some garlic and thyme for flavour followed by some flour to thicken the soup before adding the ale and broth. With the soup containing both ale and cheese I added some mustard and Worcestershire sauce which always makes for a great flavour combo. The soup is of course finished off with plenty of cheddar cheese and some heavy cream.
Lets not even try to fool ourselves here, there is nothing at all healthy about this soup, but it is so so good! Can you just imagine drinking a warm liquid cheese ale with a mellow spicy heat and the hint of smoky bacon? I am already craving another bowl!
Ale and Cheddar Soup
A heavenly ale and liquid melted cheddar soup seasoned with smoky bacon and spicy jalapeno pepper that is pure comfort in a bowl!
- 1/2 pound bacon (preferably smoked or double smoked), cut into 1 inch slices (omit and replace with 2 tablespoons of oil or butter for vegetarian)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2+ jalapeno peppers, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour (rice flour for gluten free)
- 1 (~12 ounce) bottle/can ale (gluten free for gluten free)
- 2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat and set aside on paper towels to drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the grease in the pan.
- Add the onion, celery and jalapeno and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the butter and let it melt and get all bubbly then sprinkle on the flour and let it cook until it starts to turn golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ale and broth and deglaze the pan before adding the bacon and then let cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cream, and cheese and cook until the cheese has melted without bringing it back to a boil.
- Season with cayenne, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.
Slow Cooker: Implement step 1, optionally implement steps 2 & 3, implement step 4, place everything except the cream and cheese in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the cream and cheese and letting the cheese melt.