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1lb thick cut bacon – sliced and diced
2 leeks – diced
1 medium Poblano pepper – diced
3 carrots – peeled and grated (fine grate)
4 cloves garlic – chopped
1 tbsp good prepared mustard (I recommend Lusty Monk Burn in Hell*)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika (get a good Hungarian one for Pete’s sake)
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 Turkish Bay Leaf
(2) 12oz beers (Sierra Nevada Porter recommended)
1qt Chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1tbsp chicken base or similar (Better than Boullion)
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (L&P recommended)
Salt and Pepper to taste (white pepper preferred)
20oz Heavy Cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
6oz Gouda* – shredded
6oz sharp cheddar** – shredded
chives (for garnish)
olive oil (for garnish)
reserved bacon (for garnish)
Dice up your bacon and get it going in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or similar pot over medium heat. While that is cooking, get your leeks and your Poblano diced (and remember to ALWAYS wash your leeks well). These two ingredients will go in together. In another bowl, you can add your chopped garlic and shredded carrots. Measure out your spices and have them ready to add together as well. Ditto for your cheese.
Add bacon to a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir frequently. When bacon begins to brown and foamy, remove from pan to a bowl lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve the cooked bacon for garnishing later.
Add leeks and Poblano pepper to pan. Cook until vegetables wilt and have released most of their liquid. (about 5 minutes)
Add in the carrots and garlic. Cook another 3-4 minutes.
Put the bay leaf and your spices into the pot. Toss in some salt and grind in some fresh pepper. Stir. The heat will wake up your spices. Enjoy the aromas!
Pour the 2 beers in. Stir quickly to deglaze the bottom of the pan. That fond is pure flavor and you want it!
Return to a simmer and reduce soup by 3/4.
Add chicken base, worcestershire sauce, and chicken stock. Return to a simmer.
Reduce by half over low to medium heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
While the soup is simmering, make your roux. Add flour to melted butter and whisk over medium heat. You want your roux to thicken a bit, but not take on too much color. More color = more flavor. I recommend a tan roux.
Add cream and return to a simmer. Adjust seasonings for flavor.
Whisk roux into soup a bit at a time. You may not need it all, so do not add all of it at once. After each addition, whisk soup thoroughly to incorporate. Continue to simmer so the roux will activate and thicken the soup. Add roux to desired thickness. Aim for just shy of your ideal, as the cheese will provide a bit of thickening as well.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Ladle soup into bowl. Drizzle olive oil over soup. Sprinkle chives over soup. Place some bacon on top. Serve with Crusty Herb Bread.
* If you can find this brand and mustard, get some. Lusty Monk is consistently awesome.
** I use Boars Head Gouda and sharp cheddar since it’s easy to find and consistently good for the price. This combination just works great and is easy to get ahold of.