Cheese & Ale Pub Soup
In the mood for a game of darts on a blustery evening? Head to your local pub...OR make this soup and you'll imagine you're there. Color, texture, taste, ingredients, it's so English you may start singing God Save the Queen. Serve hot to 6-8 people with lots of brown bread and tankards of Bass for a lovely meal. Trifle for dessert would be lovely. Many thanks to John Poore of Brentwood, California, for putting me on the trail of this recipe.
Garnish: minced parsley
Melt the butter over low heat in a large pot, then toss in the vegetables, cover, and sweat til the onion is transparent. Stir in the flour (adding more butter if it is too dry) and let cook 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and ale, and stir in the bay leaves and hot peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
When the vegetables are tender, stir in the diluted cornstarch, raise the heat to medium high, and let cook until the soup thickens. Stir in the cream, then stir in the cheese by handfuls. When the soup has thickened nicely, take off the heat, cover, and let the flavors blend. When ready to serve, reheat and ladle into bowls. Brown bread! Butter! Tankards of ale!