Food & Drink

Creamy lager and jalapeño soup

Creamy lager and jalapeño soup

2 tablespoons butter

3 jalape–o chiles, finely chopped (see note)

1/2 medium to large onion, chopped

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,

divided, optional

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.