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Seasonal Farmers Market recipes: Cheddar ale soup

October 21, 2009

Cheddar ale soup



Items in bold are seasonally available this week at area farmers markets

4 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, diced
1 celery , diced
1 medium potato , diced
1 shallot , diced
1 medium onion , diced
1 clove of garlic , finely minced
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup homemade chicken stock (recipe below)
1 bottle of light beer
2 1/2 cups whole milk (cream line preferred)
12 ounces cheddar cheese , shredded
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Tabasco to taste
Salt and pepper
Crumbled crispy bacon for garnish (optional)

Melt butter in a deep pot over medium heat and add the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly until it turns a light nut brown color. Add the chicken stock to the pot in a thin stream while whisking constantly. Then add beer and milk and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove the soup from the heat. If you would like a smooth soup you can puree the soup now using an immersion blender (or use a regular blender, being careful not to burn yourself). If you are making this soup in advance you should make it to this point and then refrigerate it until you are almost ready to serve.

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To finish the soup, bring liquid to a boil and remove it from the heat. Slowly whisk in cheese, thyme, tabasco, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Cook's note: Once the cheese is added the soup does not reheat well. If you have to reheat it do it over low heat and watch it carefully for curdling.

- Submitted by Julie Stinar, Evensong Farm

Homemade chicken stock



1 whole chicken
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley
Water, enough to cover chicken

Pick up a whole chicken from a local farmer and roast it in the oven for a great meal. After removing most of the meat use leftover carcass to make this stock, which will be much deeper in flavor and richer than a store-bought stock.

Put the bones from the chicken in a pot and put in enough water to cover them by one inch. Add onion, carrot and a parsley. Put it over a low heat and let simmer gently for at least 2 hours, occasionally skimming any foam or fat that rises to the surface. When the flavor is all out of the chicken, strain the stock it is ready to use. To defat a stock put it in the refrigerator overnight and the fat will harden on the top of the stock, making it easier to remove. To store, measure 1 cup servings into resealable bags and freeze until ready to use.

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