Onion Beer & Cheese Soup

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Sautée in 3 tbs oil or butter over low to medium heat :

8 oz. green vidalia onions, white parts only, chopped. You could also use leeks or the white parts of scallions.

1 oz garlic, minced

Cook the onions until they become wilted and nearly tender. Bring the heat to medium.

Add :

2 tbs all-purpose flour

Stir and cook for two minutes or so, until the floury taste is gone. Maintain a medium heat.

Slowly add, 1/4 cup or so at a time, stirring all the while and incorporating the liquids into the soup :

1 1/2 cups beer (room temperature if possible)

1 1/2 cups stock (warm or room temperature if possible)

At first this will be like making a roux or a gravy, but gradually something resembling a soup begins to emerge. Cook for as long as required until the onions are tender and the soup seems close to thick enough to serve. As quickly as possible, working in small batches, blend the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to pot, return to heat, then add :

1/2 – 1 cup freshly shredded SHARP cheddar cheese.

1 tbs mustard powder

Dash of maggi or golden mountain seasoning or worcestershire sauce (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the cheese and reduce the soup (if needed) to the desired serving consistency. Stir frequently to avoid burning.

Serve as hot and as quickly as possible and garnish with something bright and spicy. In the above photo, I’ve used spicy Vietnamese style pickled carrots and pickled chopped cherry peppers. Also good are diced raw hot chiles and cilantro, or spring onion and sriracha.

Key : The key to this recipe is in the selection of the beer : in order to avoid either excessive bitterness or sweetness, one wants a well-balanced brew that is mild in its’ character. So if you go with a pale ale, avoid excessively hoppy ones. Lager? Stay away from over-sweet or malty beers. Wheat beer? Don’t pick one that has strong citrus or spice notes or is sugary sweet.

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