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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 557
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Irish Potato Cheese Beer Soup
Sunday 22 May 2016   —   Category: Cooking & Food
It is amazing that it wasn’t until last year, after I had already lived on this planet for more than half a century, that I started to expand my culinary horizons. For the first five decades of my life I had not lived very adventurously when it came to trying new foods and recipes. My neanderthal attitude had always been: “Why try something new that I might not like, when I can stick with things I know I like?

Fortunately, my narrow-minded timidity regarding food was shattered by a sud­den passion for new food, beer, and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion in the kitchen. These days, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas, whether they are recipes I find in ar­ti­cles, or recipes I try to reconstruct from dishes I see in online menus, or actual dishes I try at restaurants.

On January 9 of this year, McMenamins had an all-day celebration at their Ken­nedy School location in northeast Port­land for the birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien. As I was looking through their hobbit-inspired special menu, I saw that the first dish was “Beer, Po-tay-to, Cheese soup.“

Because of my sheltered culinary life, at first I thought that this was some sort of special soup invented just for this oc­ca­sion. But a little searching on the Web revealed that the basis for beer soup goes back hundreds of years to me­di­e­val Europe.

After some more Web searching and comparing of recipes, I finally settled on an Irish Potato Soup with Cheese and Red Ale. As I often do, I modified it to fit my own needs and taste. Let’s take a quick looks at the simple, easy steps to make this awesome soup.
In one pan I sautéed flour in butter to make a traditional French roux.

Then I added milk and grated Dubliner cheese, stirring constantly with a whisk until everything was smooth and well-​blended.

Dubliner is one of my absolutely-​fa­vor­ite cheeses! It is hard to believe that it is only a recent invention, created in Ire­land in 1990.
 
In another pan I sautéed onion and cel­ery in butter, then added diced potatoes, chicken bouillon, water and half a bottle of beer.

The flavor of the soup will depend on which beer you choose.
 
Once the potatoes were tender, I poured the cheesy mixture into the potato-beer mixture. Stir well, and you are done!
 
As you can see, I garnished my bowl of soup with some parsley and a few crou­tons. Crumbled fried bacon and freshly ground black pepper would be great as well. The hearty soup would delight any beer-loving hobbit!

It is quite easy to make, so be sure to try my Irish Potato Cheese Beer Soup your­self by downloading the recipe PDF.
 
I have made this soup a number of times since then. The photo to the right was taken in May 2017. This time the soup looked less pale because I used Til­la­mook sharp cheddar cheese instead of the Dubliner. It was topped with crou­tons, a crumbled slice of fried bacon, and a sprinkling of dried parsley. I forgot to add a sprinkling of fresh-ground black pepper before I took the picture. As al­ways, it was awesome, especially with the bacon!
 
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 557
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Reader Comments
On June 8, 2016, Asha wrote:
Just bought a salt block. I have to try the griddle idea. Thanks. Love the blog.
 
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 557
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