July 8, 2008

Beer-Cheddar Soup

(What else would you expect from a WI girl?? Ha ha)

10 oz sourdough (or other crusty bread) bread cut into 1" cubes
2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12oz) bottle beer
4 cups fat-free, less sodium broth, divided
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1¼ cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I've used medium)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450°. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan; coat bread cubes in cooking spray or toss in olive oil. Bake for 10 mins or until toasted. Set aside. Heat a Dutch oven or stock pot over med-high heat. Coat with cooking spray or a little olive oil and add onion. Saute 4 mins. Add garlic; saute 1 min. Stir in beer; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 mins or until onion is very tender. Add broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 mins. Combine flour and 1 cup milk, stirring until smooth. Add flour mixture and remaining 1 cup milk and cook 12 mins or until slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat and gradually add cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper. Serve with bread cubes.

This recipe freezes great (except the bread cubes, but it can be served with a loaf of crusty bread rather than the cubes). I like to add corn to this recipe and you sure could add some cubed potatoes to bulk it up a bit for a heartier meal.

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