All the best things in life—bacon, cheese and beer—combine in this comforting soup that will wrap you up like a hug.
- 1 Pound good quality smoked bacon (such as Breakaway Farms)
- 5 Ounces (by weight) bacon fat, if available (or 4 ounces butter)
- 2 medium Spanish onions, diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 green bell peppers, seeds removed and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 Teaspoon turmeric
- 2 Teaspoons ground mustard
- 1 Teaspoon white pepper
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 5 Ounces flour
- 3 quarts homemade or good quality chicken stock
- 1-inch bunch fresh thyme, tied with butcher twine
- 16 Ounces heavy whipping cream
- 4 Cups mixed cheeses (good options include cheddar, American, and Asiago but avoid stringy cheeses such as mozzarella)
- 12 Ounces lager or ale (stay away from a beer like an IPA that’s too hoppy)
- Fresh hot pretzels, tortilla chips or croutons, for garnish
Step 1: Heat a large pot on medium-high heat. Add 1 pound smoked bacon to pot and render until browned. Add 5 ounces bacon fat (or 4 ounces butter) and 2 medium diced onions. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Add 3 large diced carrots. In batches, add 2 diced green bell peppers, 1 diced red bell pepper and 1 minced jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons ground mustard, 1 teaspoon white pepper and 1 tablespoon paprika. Stir well.
Step 4: Cook until vegetables are tender, but still ‘al dente.’ Add 5 ounces flour and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in 3 quarts chicken stock and a 1-inch bunch of fresh thyme (tied with butcher twine) and bring to a boil. The soup should thicken. Reduce to a high simmer. Cook 10 minutes.
Step 5: Add 16 ounces heavy cream, then add 4 cups mixed cheeses in 1 cup increments, until incorporated. Stir frequently.
Step 6: Pour in 12 ounces lager or ale and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the thyme bundle. Check if additional salt and pepper is needed.
Step 7: Serve in bowls with fresh hot pretzels, tortilla chips, croutons, etc.