Creamy lager and jalapeño soup
2 tablespoons butter
3 jalape–o chiles, finely chopped (see note)
1/2 medium to large onion, chopped
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1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups American-style lager
beer (such as Budweiser)
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese,
Makes 6 first-course servings.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, stir in jalapenos, onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle in flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Pour beer and stock into pan in slow, steady streams, whisking constantly. Bring just to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve placed over a bowl.
Transfer solids and about 1/2 cup of the liquid to a blender or food processor; process to a smooth puree. Return puree to saucepan. Stir in remaining strained liquid; cook until hot over medium-low heat. Pour in half-and-half, stirring well until mixed and heated through. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and salt.
Ladle the soup into six bowls and sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese.
Nutrition information per serving: 182 calories; 8 g fat (40 percent calories from fat); 5 g saturated fat; 24 mg cholesterol; 4 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 528 mg sodium; 48 mg calcium; 242 mg potassium.
Note: For a spicier soup, do not seed the jalape–os. Serve with an American-style lager beer.