"'You've got him, Minister!' said Tom. 'Will you be wanting anything? Beer? Brandy?'" (Prisoner of Azkaban 42).
There are so many types of beer to choose from, and many of those beers appear as ingredients to delicious recipes! So today we shall make one of my favorite soups, one which has nothing at all to do with Harry Potter, but is in fact a famous dish served at Le Cellier, the Canadian restaurant at Epcot in Disney World. But I like it, so we're making it! So here we go, with my vegetarian version of Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup!
You Will Need:
1/2 pound vegetarian bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces (Morningstar Farms is an excellent choice for this recipe)
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4" pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4" pieces (the first time I made this, I didn't use celery, because someone was allergic to it, and I actually think I like it better without it! So, decide for yourself!)
4 Tbs butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups No-Chicken stock
4 cups milk
1 pound grated white cheddar cheese
1 Tbs Tabasco sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pale ale at room temperature
Chopped scallions or chives for garnish
1. "Cook" your "bacon" stirring over medium-high heat for a minute or two, in a 4-5 quart pot. I recommend adding your butter at this point, because vegetarian bacon doesn't provide its own grease to brown in, like animal-bacon does.
2. Add the red onion and celery (and butter, if you haven't added it yet). Cook, stirring, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to medium (and be sure it's actually there, if you're using an electric stove). Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes. Between this and the next step, it's very easy to scald the bottom, so keep stirring!
4 Whisk in the stock and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the milk and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil after you add the milk.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until the cheese is melted and the soup is smooth.
7. Stir in the pale ale. If the soup is too thick (I've never had that problem), add some warm milk.
8. Serve the soup hot, garnished with chopped scallions or chives.
I do so love this soup! Like I said, I think it's better without the celery, but either way, it's very tasty! Enjoy!