It’s one of those days.
The weather, no, storm Abigail, has clenched her teeth on the West of Ireland and seems unwilling to release; even if we play nice.
I have received several requests from friends an family to met up for a cup of tea today, but I have insisted on doing nothing that requires me to get dressed. We declared today a pyjama day – and so it is.
Early this morning, I started Googling for some comfort food inspiration. Himself was in the throes of making a loaf of bread and we were undecided as to what our Sunday supper would consist of; neither of us felt like cooking.
Thankfully, himself had cooked a whole shank of veal yesterday, pot roast style, so that’s supper sorted then, but what about lunch?
Late last week, we had stopped in to visit our friends at Galway Hooker Brewery. They have another beer added to their repertoire, which we had yet to try.
The brewery was established in 2006, in Roscommon by two first cousins, Aidan Murphy (below) and Ronan Brennan. A couple of years ago, they decided to return the brewing operation back home to Galway, and they have been brewing and blossoming ever since.
This new (since earlier this year) India Pale Ale is excellent. Himself will probably never stray from their flagship beer (Galway Hooker Pale Ale) but I am always interested in finding a new beer, and I get especially excited when I find one that is homegrown.
The Galway Hooker India Pale Ale comes loaded with that hop filled flavour we love (and fun at 6.5% alcohol content!) and it was begging to be incorporated into our lunch plans. Hey, what else is a girl going to do on a dream wet wintry day in the west? Having a beer with lunch never sounds like a bad idea!
The soup is a bit tricky to make. Not in the sense that a novice cook can’t take it on as a challenge, just in the sense that it is easy burn it (as there is milk in it), and there is always the likelihood that the cheese will break and you will end up with lumpy soup. The key to your success, should you attempt to make this, is to keep the temp low on the stove when you add the cheese.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 60 g flour
- 950 ml chicken stock
- 1 bottle Galway Hooker India Pale Ale or any beer you like to drink
- 115 g cream cheese
- 450 g grated sharp cheese (we used Mossfield Organic hard cheese)
- 250 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon Colemans English mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and White Pepper to taste
- In a large pot sauté the onions, carrots, and celery and garlic in the butter. Put the lid on the pot, reduce the heat, and cook until soft.
- Stir in the flour, like you are making a roux and cook until thick and it browns just a little bit. Whisk in the chicken stock and simmer or a few minutes. Reduce heat leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for a half an hour, then using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables to produce a nice thick stock.
- Add the beer, followed by the cream cheese and handfuls of grated hard cheese of your choice, whisking all the time ensuring the cream cheese is smooth and the cheddar has melted. Do not let it come to a boil, as it will burn easily and boiling can cause the cheese to separate.
- Slowly pour in the milk, then add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce, then bring the heat up just a touch to allow the soup to gently simmer. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Serve with a slice of toasted bread or your favourite crackers.
Now, I am not saying you should be drinking a beer on your lunch break tomorrow at work, but this is definitely one to tote with you to work in your Thermos.
Absolutely smooth and silky and the chicken stock keeps it light enough ensuring the texture is not gloopy when you get ready to serve it. I would refrain from using any kind of Mozzarella cheese, even if you just happen to have it in the fridge, as it is really annoying to end up eating a soup that just strings along on your spoon and won’t let go!
Right – tis almost supper time here at Chez Wise and time for someone to open a bottle of wine! I hope your weekend was nice and relaxing and you managed to squeeze in a bit of rest and relaxation before heading back to the grind tomorrow morning!
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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