The combination of cold weather and my recent pizza/burger binge left me wanting something warm and vegetable-y. I found the soup recipe below, added beer to it (duh) and also swapped half & half for the heavy cream because I still feel full from Thanksgiving. It turned out super creamy and the beer and sharp cheddar gave it a tangy bite. Definitely have a crusty baguette handy for dipping.
3 tbs unsalted butter, plus 2 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 bottle good beer (really whatever you like – just has to have a strong taste)
3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
1 16-oz package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
1/2 cup half & half
1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar
In a medium pot, melt the 3 tbs butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions (or leeks), salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds.
Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock and beer, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)
Add the half & half and bring to bare simmer to heat through.
Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend. Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Original recipe can be found here.