Cheddar Cheese Soup

This soup really hits the spot on a cold winter day.  Try substituting some of the chicken stock with your favorite stout beer.  Make sure you have a fresh loaf of crusty bread for dipping!

Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 stick of butter
3 small leeks, white part only, split in half, diced small
3 celery stalks, diced small
1 carrot, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound Cheddar, grated, plus 1/4 cup for garnish
1 teaspoon Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup chopped crispy bacon
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Loaf of crusty bread

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Saute the vegetables for about 3 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Dust the vegetables with the flour and stir for 3 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree until smooth. Strain the soup into a clean saucepan. Bring the soup up to a simmer. Whisk in the cream, cheese, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into a shallow bowl. Garnish the soup with bacon, grated cheese and chives.

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