Beer and Cheddar Soup
1-1/2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp butter
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup flour
1 cup beer
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cups sharp cheddar, grated
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch scallions, sliced thin
In a large saucepan set over medium heat, combine the milk and the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low.
In another large saucepan set over medium heat, add the oil and 2 tbsp of the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the carrots, celery, onion, fennel, garlic. and the bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Then sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes.
Slowly add in the warm milk mixture, whisking constantly. Once fully combined, whisk in the beer and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, making sure the soup only simmers, never boils.
Remove the bay leaf and add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
Stirring constantly, gradually add the cheddar cheese. Once slightly melted, transfer half of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth.
Strain the pureed soup through a fine-mesh sieve into an empty soup pot set over medium-low heat (to keep warm), then repeat the process with the other half of the soup.
Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/cheddar-beer-soup-259650