This soup can be made two ways – the vegetables can be left intact in the soup, or the vegetables can be pureed. If serving with the vegetables intact, take care in the cutting so they are uniform. If blending, give them a rough chop and pulse them in a food processor.
Heat two tablespoons oil in a large pan, a cast iron is perfect, over medium heat. Add vegetables and saute, adding a little water if needed to keep them from sticking until very soft. Once softened, add the butter and turn the heat up a little and bring the vegetables right to the edge of browning. Add garlic and cook about a minute longer.
Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stirring often cook for three to four minutes or until the vegetables lose that floury taste. Add in the stock and beer in increments, stirring at first then switching to a whisk and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, making sure to get into the corners of the pan, three to four minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and not fill in when a finger is run across it.
If blending soup, turn down the heat and use a stick blender now or remove the contents of the pan to a blender, working in batches if needed. Return to the pan. If the soup is not still piping hot, reheat. If not pureeing, proceed.
Turn heat off and add the milk, whisking in, then the Worcestershire, mustard powder, cayenne, and pepper. Hold off on any salt until soup is finished. Add, in very small handfuls, the shredded cheese, whisking well after each addition to melt and blend. Work as quickly as possible but don’t rush; this will take several minutes. This will ensure you’ll have a smoother soup. Taste for salt and add as needed.
Serve immediately with popcorn.
Note: if using half and half, don’t open a new carton for the odd 1/4 cup; milk is just fine
Keywords: Alcohol, Bargain Meal of the Week, Beer, beer cheese, Carrots, cheddar, Cheese, Chicken Stock, milk, Popcorn, Soup