Even though the weather is milder here in Chiberia, it is still winter. Soup is the perfect winter dish. Since St. Patrick's Day is not far off, Guinness potato cheddar soup is perfect to warm your innards and fill your belly.
This soup is more rustic in nature as about half the solids remain. It is easy, quick, and cheesy.
With this soup, you can honestly say, "Guinness, it's what's for dinner".
Note: This is not a "white" soup. You can choose to peel the potatoes or just dice them. The potatoes I used had very thin skins so I left them on.
2- 1 pint 6 oz. bottles of Guinness
6-8 slices good quality thick sliced bacon cut into one inch chunks
1 medium size yellow onion diced
4- medium size carrots diced
4-stalks of celery diced
3 lbs. small to medium potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 cups chicken broth
4 tbsp flour
1 cup half and half
Coarse ground black pepper- to taste
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (You can add more to taste)
Open one bottle of Guinness. Drink while reading the recipe and as the soup simmers.
In a soup pot cook bacon until crisp. Remove and place on paper towel.
Drain all but two tablespoons of bacon fat.
Place pot back on heat. Add diced onions, celery, and carrots. Add salt. Cook on medium heat until onions are translucent.
Add potatoes. You may need to add a little more fat and salt. Add pepper. Cook mixture, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Pour in Guinness and chicken broth. Bring to gentle boil. Lower to simmer.
Cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Take about half the soup and place into a pourable container. Fill blender with about half of this. Process until smooth and creamy. Pour back into pot. Place the other half in blender. Add flour and half and half. Process until smooth and creamy. Pour into pot.
CAUTION: Do not fill blender more than half full. Hot mixtures expand in the blender. Do not process on high. Start on low and gradually raise the speed. If need be, process in three batches.
Bring soup to gentle boil to thicken. Lower to simmer. Check and adjust seasoning.
Stir in cheddar cheese. Keep stirring until cheese is fully melted and incorporated into soup.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
Garnish with bacon and fine diced celery and carrots or fine diced parsley.
For added kick, you can add a small amount of your favorite hot sauce.
For vegetarians or those who observe meatless Fridays during lent, you can skip the bacon and use vegetable oil. Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
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