|Picasso would have approved.|
Olga’s Beer-Cheese Soup has long been one of my favorites exactly as is. But I didn’t have any carrots and thought less stock and more mustard would be OK and the next thing I knew, the dish ran away with the spoon.
“Does anybody really make up recipes?” you asked. Actually, yes, they do. Those who do it often are gifted. Those who do it now and then are smart. And those who do it in a pinch are desperate, having have run out of one or more ingredients.
I fell into the latter category, Olga. And tinkered with your masterpiece. But you know what ...? Your/my Beer-Cheese Soup was almost as good as the original. The recipe below is a hybrid of yours and mine.
Olga’s Beer-Cheese Soup:
¾ c. unsalted butter (no substitutes)
½ c. finely diced celery
½ c. finely diced carrots (I used mushrooms; carrots are best)
½ c. finely diced onions
½ c. all-purpose flour
4-to-5 c. chicken stock (Olga recommends 5 c. I prefer 4 c.)
½-to-2 tsp. mustard (Olga uses ½ tsp. I prefer 2 tsp.)
2-to-4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese (Olga recommens 2 tbsp. I prefer 4 tbsp. of the commercially powdered variety)
6 oz. aged cheddar (see Note)
12 oz. (355 mL) beer (Olga likes 11 oz., so I drank what remained)
In a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until bubbly. Sauté vegetables 5 min. or until tender, stirring often. Slowly add flour to butter mixture, mixing until no lumps remain. Stir in mustard and gradually add chicken stock, cooking a further 5 min. on medium-low. Remove from heat. Blend in cheeses until fully melted. Stir in beer. Simmer to reheat to serving temperature. Season to taste (see Further Note). Serves 4-to-6.
Note: Olga suggests this amount - but is the measurement volume or weight? I didn’t want to take a chance, so used 1-½ c. cheddar, which seemed about right.
Further Note: Because cheese contains added salt, I found this soup perfectly seasoned without adding salt to the recipe. I suspect this soup would also be very good with a processed cheese spread such as Cheez Whiz substituted for the cheddar. I’m going to try that, next time. Oops! I’ve just doodled on a Picasso.
|Melt unsalted butter.|
|Add carrots! They’re far superior for color|
and crunch than the mushrooms I used.
|Slowly stir in flour.|
|Simmer to reheat before serving.|
Tomorrow: Duchess Soup.