Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Paddy's Day: Cheddar Ale Potato Soup

To follow up the delicious Irish soda bread recipe I posted earlier today, here is an amazing cheddar ale potato soup to pair along with it (and trust me, I did). I hope that you all had a happy St. Paddy's Day & enjoy the soup! This recipe is an altered version of this one and makes about six servings.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 65 minutes +

One (1) pound of red potatoes, chopped into large pieces (think, the way you chop potatoes for mashed potatoes)
Four (4) tablespoons of butter
Two (2) medium leeks, sliced (white and light green parts only)
1/2 cup of celery, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
Two (2) cups of vegetable broth or stock
Six (6) ounces of your favorite red Irish ale -- I used Harpoon's Celtic Ale
Four (4) ounces of cheddar cheese -- I used Cabot's
Two (2) cups of milk or cream -- I used one cup of Light Cream and one cup of almond milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Add potatoes, vegetable stock, ale and salt & pepper into a large pot or your slow cooker on high.
Bring it to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Cook for at least 45 minutes (or until potatoes are soft).
While your potatoes cook, use a spoon or a masher and lightly smash them so that they thicken the soup. If you don't want any chunks of potato, you can process the entire soup, but I kept it chunky.
Using two tablespoons of the butter, saute the onion, celery, and leeks in a frying pan over medium heat for ten minutes. Add these to the pot/slow cooker. Side note: I threw the veggies in the food processor for a bit, but this isn't necessary.
In a separate saucepan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for three minutes.

Slowly add the milk to the saucepan and once it is whisked in, add the cheddar cheese until it melts. Keep whisking so the milk doesn't curdle.
Add the cheese mixture to your slow cooker and blend together.
Cook on low for an additional ten minutes or so.
Spoon into a bowl and enjoy!