I love beer cheddar soup. I have been making this recipe for more than 15 years and it is a family favorite. I modified my version from one of my favorite cookbooks, Soups and Stews by Food and Wine, circa 1995. But, for Supper Bowl Sunday, I am adding a new twist thanks to my friend Matthew Mead. Pretzels. Yes, pretzels. Crushed pretzels.
Now, admittedly, I’m not a football fan, unless of course my team is winning. And while I don’t follow football, I do love to host a Super Bowl party. It’s a great excuse to gather friends. And, if it is a Sunday, I am making soup. Soup is an an easy and casual way to entertain. And, if you want a hearty soup that is a crowd pleaser, this one will be a hit, I promise.
ALL THE BEST PRODUCTS MAKE ENTERTAINING EASY
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), coarsely diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 (12-oz) bottle of a German Pilsner
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound extra-sharp Cheddar (preferably English), grated
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 cup pretzels, crushed
Melt butter in a heavy stockpot over moderate heat. Add leeks, carrots, celery and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce to a low heat and sprinkle flour over vegetables, stir for 3 minutes.
Add milk, broth, and beer in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, whisking for 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. By the handful, add cheese, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (DO NOT BOIL). Serve sprinkled with bacon and crushed pretzels and serve.