Cheddar, Bacon, and Ale Soup
Parkwood Heights is a retirement community in Macedon, NY. Every January they host a soup tasting event. This recipe came from what I hope someday will be my "old folks home"...seriously.
1/2 lb. bacon
2 TBSP salted butter
1/2 cup minced onion
5 cloves minced garlic
1 small bay leaf
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
12 oz. Scotch ale
2 1/2 cups milk
14 ounces chicken broth
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp hot sauce
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP soy sauce
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
In large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside.
In the same large saucepan, over medium eat, melt butte; add onions and bay leaf. Cook stirring often until onions are translucent and softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and bacon; cook until golden brown.
Stir in flour and cook about 3 minutes longer.
Gradually whisk in ale; stirring for about 2 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and thickened. Whisk in milk, chicken broth and dry mustard. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring often so it doesn't scorch bottom of pan.
Add cheese a handful at a time; stir until cheese is melted and soup is hot. DO NOT LET SOUP BOIL. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.