Rich and creamy, Carmody makes this soup a crowd pleaser as a starter or satisfying meal. We reach for a favorite ale from our local Sonoma brewery, but Guinness is good too.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (12-oz) bottle beer such as Rich Copper Ale from Lagunitas Brewing, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Tabasco or favorite hot sauce, to taste
1 lb. Bellwether Farms Carmody cheese, grated (4 cups)
4 bacon slices – cooked crisp and crumbled

Directions

Wash leeks well in a bowl of cold water and drain in a colander.

In a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, melt butter. Add leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to soften and lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and sprinkle flour over vegetables to make a roux, then cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add beer and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk in milk and broth and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper and cook until slightly bubbling. Off the heat, add Carmody cheese by handfuls, stirring until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce to taste. To serve, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.