Vegetarian version of Grizzly Peake's Cheddar Ale Soup:
1 large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄2 stick butter
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable stock
2 (12-ounce) bottles ale such as Newcastle Brown
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
12 to 16 ounces aged cheddar cheese
2 to 3 shakes hot sauce
2 to 3 shakes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Croutons for garnish
Chopped green onions for garnish
1. In a large soup pot saute onions and garlic in about 1⁄2 stick of butter. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes without browning them. Sprinkle flour onto them, stir it up and cook for about 5 minutes to remove any raw flour taste. This will help to thicken the soup later on.
2. Add vegetable stock, ale and mustard. Turn heat up and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
3. While that's happening, grate cheddar cheese. After soup has simmered for about 15-20 minutes add 1 cup of heavy cream and grated cheese and let it cook until cheese melts. Puree soup using an electric hand blender or puree it in batches in a food processor or blender. Be careful, the hot liquid expands as it purees. When soup is smooth, add a couple shakes of Tabasco and a couple shakes of Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crunchy croutons and some chopped green onions on top if you like.
Very yummy. I suggest making a dense bread to go along with it rather than croutons. Irish soda bread would work well.