Irish Potato Soup with Cheese and Red Ale
Adapted from Relish magazine
Feel free to vary this recipe according to the contents of your cupboard or refrigerator. You can use all leeks or all onions instead of a combination of the two; the potatoes can be peeled or unpeeled; and you can use a more readily available beer or ale. You can also use chicken stock instead of vegetable and replace the Kerrygold Dubliner cheese with a combination of Gruyère and medium-sharp white cheddar.
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 3/4 cup sliced celery
- 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle Irish red ale
- 4 cups lower sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole or 2% low-fat milk
- 7 ounces grated Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
- 3/4 cup finely minced parsley (optional)
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese, preferably Cashel (optional)
- Crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 6- to 8-quart stockpot. Add onion, leek, and celery; cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are barely soft.
Add potatoes, ale, stock, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
Melt remaining butter in a medium saucepan; gradually add flour, whisking until smooth. Cook 3 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in milk, whisking until hot and thickened. Add cheese, stir until melted.
Stir cheese mixture into potato mixture until combined. Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley, blue cheese, and bacon, if desired.