Really Excellent Beer Cheese Soup

It’s March and even though I am not a bit Irish, I want Irish food. Now in my defense, I have very fair skin and green eyes and have been mistaken for Irish many times. So every March, in honor of my imaginary Irish roots,  I buy Irish butter and cheese, serve bangers and mash and even have my annual Shamrock Shake, a decision I always regret. Just the shake. Nothing else. 
I have always loved beer cheese soup. It could be my Midwestern roots. So this year, I decided to get some Guinness and good aged Irish cheddar and make some seriously excellent beer cheese soup. 
I know I made this soup but I have to say, this is the World Cup of beer cheese soup. It’s the Irish Derby of beer cheese soups. I think it would win awards. But enough boasting. Here’s the recipe. Try it yourself. 
Really Excellent Beer Cheese Soup
2 TBSP olive oil
1 leek, chopped and rinsed
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 TBSP flour
1 12 oz bottle of Guinness
1 cup chicken broth
12 oz of milk or a combination of milk and half and half
1 TSP Worcestershire sauce
7 oz grated sharp cheddar, like Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar
1. Sauté leeks celery and garlic in olive oil until soft. 
2. Add flour and stir for a couple minutes. 
3. Add Guinness and stir until it thickens. Give it at least five minutes. Maybe more. 
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool and blend until smooth. 

5. Return to heat and add broth and milk and Worcestershire sauce. Allow to thicken for 5-10 minutes.

6. Gradually add cheese. Stir until the cheese is all melted. 
The faster you serve, the stronger the Guinness flavor.  I put it on simmer for a while to let the alcohol burn off.  After about an hour it mellowed considerably. Still a good flavor but not overwhelming. I have some great sour dough bread to go with this that I got at Great Harvest. (available Thursday’s in March at the Columbia, MD location). 
Serve topped with chopped scallions, maybe some chopped red pepper or some nice little crumbles of bacon. Irish bacon. 
Enjoy!

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