In high school, Andy and Margaret Z's parents owned a cool deli in the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville, FL. It was called Mr. Dunderbaks. Later, it became European Street cafe but it still had the old world styling, the canned German music, import foods, and an expansive line of high quality brews that filled the length of a wall. If you drank one of each kind (tracked on a card), you won a free beer a week for a year (or something like that). The hard part was, this wasn't a bar. You were limited to 4 beers a visit. My friend, Carson, worked there for a while. Sometimes I'd hang out with him while he closed up. My wife and I also love to sit in the "outdoor cafe" part which was really the store front opening into the mall traffic. We'd eat, have a few beers, and people watch. Ahhhh what great fun. They had great sandwiches and decadent desserts (Snickers pie, reese's peanut pie, etc) but our favorite was their beer cheese soup. So when we moved from Jacksonville and I couldn't get it anymore, I experimented with a few beer cheese soup recipes but none of them were what I was looking for. I stole from this one, borrowed from that one, added a thing or two and this is what I ended up with. This probably isn't a clone, it's more of a clone of how I remember it.
European Street Style Beer Cheese Soup Ingredients, 1 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup carrot finely diced
1/3 cup celery finely diced
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
12 ounces beer
3 cups chicken broth up to 5 cups if desired.
4 cups cheddar cheese shredded
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Instructions Saute carrots, onions, and celery in butter until the onions are translucent
Stir in flour and cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking constrantly, making sure it does not burn.
Stir in beer (must be first to cook off the alcohol), paprika, mustard, worchestershire, and broth. Use wire whisk to smooth. Add cheese, slowly bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Feel free to mix up the cheese or a use a blend of cheeses, such as cheddar and parmesan, sharp cheddar and colby-jack, or whatever. Tonights blend was some of the smoked cheeses that I cold smoked last week, including mild cheddar, white cheddar, and fontina.
Remove from heat and fold in half and half (or heavy cream if you want to get that first heart attack out of the way tonight). Add tabasco. Serve w/ extra tabasco on the side and fresh popcorn as garnish.