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Cheesy Beer Butter Bacon Soup

OK..... Let's get this party started. What could be better than the beer/butter/bacon combo? How about a little sharp cheddar cheese?. Throw in some buttery, Parmesan croutons to the mix, and you are in for a real treat.  Let's end this year with a bang!

Cheesy Beer Butter Bacon Soup - makes 4 servings

4 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
3 small onions, julienned
3 small apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 bottle amber ale
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups chicken stock
hot sauce to taste
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, cook bacon over med-low heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add butter to pan, with onions and apples. Cook over med-low heat until onions are golden brown and very soft-about 45 minutes. Stir in flour and let cook for one minute. Add thyme, paprika, dry mustard and bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Stir in beer, cream and chicken stock, carefully scraping the bottom of the pan, to be sure all flour is incorporated. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Puree with hand-held immersion blender. Stir in cheddar cheese, until just melted, stirring constantly. Garnish with Parmesan croutons and reserved bacon.

Parmesan Croutons

4  cups stale bread, cubed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350*. In a large bowl, stir together bread, butter and cheese. Spray a large baking tray with cooking spray. Spread bread out in pan and bake until golden brown, stirring once during cooking, about 13 minutes.

Speaking of Beer.... I just wanted to brag a little bit about my brother Dean. These bottles of beer were created 100% by him. He makes the beer from scratch in his kitchen, and this year he bottled, capped and labeled it himself. Pretty Impressive! I can't wait to try it, especially the blueberry porter.



Tags: Beer, Butter, Bacon, Soup

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