Updated 04/06/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Potato, Cheddar and Ale Soup with Smoked Paprika Croutons
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8-12 ounces grated cheddar cheese (see hints below)
1 12-ounce can bock beer or amber ale
2 cups milk (plus approx. 2 more cups while pureeing soup...or see hints below for substituting part chicken stock)
4 Tbs butter
1 cup chopped leeks, white part only, well rinsed
1/2 cup peeled, diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups peeled, 1/2 diced potato
for the croutons:
3-4 cups 1-inch cubed 3-4 day old bread
4 Tbs butter
smoked paprika to taste (approx. 1-2 tsp)
salt to taste
Melt 4 Tbs of butter in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot and add 1 cup chopped leeks, 1/2 cup diced peeled carrot, 1/2 cup diced celery and add 2 cups of peeled, 1/2-inch cubed potatoes and cook those along to soften up a bit.
After 4-5 minutes, add one 12-ounce beer and let that cook along for a few minutes and then add 2 cups of milk and bring it up to a simmer.
Melt 4 Tbs butter in a large nonstick pan and toasT the bread for 4-5 minutes, and then add the smoked paprika to taste and a pinch of salt and turn the heat off.
Once the potatoes are nice and soft, use a hand blender to puree the soup, adding more milk as you go. Then, once it is nice and smooth, slowly add the grated cheddar cheese and let that melt in. You may need to use the hand blender again after adding the cheese.
The original recipe calls for 12-ounces of cheddar cheese but you can probably get away with a bit less if you want.
You'll need approximately 4 cups of milk total for this recipe or do a variation by starting with 2 cups chicken stock and finishing (as you are pureeing the soup) with approximately 2 cups milk.
Use regular paprika if you don't have the smoked paprika.