CHEDDAR AND ALE SOUP

CHEDDAR AND ALE SOUP

This is a super cheddar soup – ideal on its own with some bread for lunch, or as part of a bigger meal. I really like the combination of the rich, hoppy ale and the gentle acidity from the dairy. The chopped apple and malty dressing I use to garnish the soup cuts through the rich flavours and really makes them shine.

INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 4

75g butter

1 large onion (about 175g), diced

1 large potato (about 175g), peeled and diced


70g plain flour

500ml chicken stock


500ml brown ale (your choice, but the stronger the better)

100ml double cream

350g strong Cheddar cheese, grated


Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

4 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp malt extract

1 tbsp cider vinegar

To garnish:

1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely diced

2 tbsps chopped chives

METHOD

1: Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and potato and cook gently, stirring from time to time, until softened (but don’t let them take on any colour), around 10-15 minutes.

2: Sprinkle the flour evenly over the vegetables in the pan and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the chicken stock. Whack up the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for about 10 minutes until the soup has thickened. Pour in the ale and heat gently for a further few minutes.

3: Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the cream and whiz until nice and smooth.

4: Pass the soup through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and season with pepper and a little salt – do not add too much at this stage as the cheese will introduce extra saltiness later.

5: To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, malt extract and cider vinegar in a small bowl until emulsified.

6: Warm the soup gently over a low heat and stir in the grated cheddar, allowing it to melt. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

7: Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and trickle a little dressing on top of each one. Sprinkle on the diced apple and chives and serve immediately.

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INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 4

75g butter

1 large onion (about 175g), diced

1 large potato (about 175g), peeled and diced


70g plain flour

500ml chicken stock


500ml brown ale (your choice, but the stronger the better)

100ml double cream

350g strong Cheddar cheese, grated


Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

4 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp malt extract

1 tbsp cider vinegar

To garnish:

1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely diced

2 tbsps chopped chives

METHOD

1: Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and potato and cook gently, stirring from time to time, until softened (but don’t let them take on any colour), around 10-15 minutes.

2: Sprinkle the flour evenly over the vegetables in the pan and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the chicken stock. Whack up the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for about 10 minutes until the soup has thickened. Pour in the ale and heat gently for a further few minutes.

3: Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the cream and whiz until nice and smooth.

4: Pass the soup through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and season with pepper and a little salt – do not add too much at this stage as the cheese will introduce extra saltiness later.

5: To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, malt extract and cider vinegar in a small bowl until emulsified.

6: Warm the soup gently over a low heat and stir in the grated cheddar, allowing it to melt. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

7: Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and trickle a little dressing on top of each one. Sprinkle on the diced apple and chives and serve immediately.

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TOM’S TABLE (2015)

The ideal companion for anyone looking for simple everyday recipes with irresistible flavour, perfect for dinner parties or wonderful family meals.

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