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Beemster Vlaskaas Cheese & Ale Soup

Prep: 10 minutes • Cook: 25 minutes • Serves: 8

1/2 cup Schnucks unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cans (14 ounces each) less-sodium chicken broth (5-1/4 cups)
1 bottle (12 ounces) pale ale
1 pint (2 cups) Schnucks half & half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
12 ounces Beemster Vlaskaas cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
parsley sprigs for garnish (optional)

1. In 5- to 6-quart saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir with whisk until combined. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, ale, half & half, salt and garlic powder. Increase heat to medium-high; cook until mixture simmers, stirring occasionally.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is creamy and thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepot from heat. With whisk, gradually add cheese, stirring until smooth. Serve garnished with parsley sprigs, if desired. Makes about 10 cups.

Each Serving: About 427 calories, 32 g total fat (21 g saturated), 102 mg cholesterol, 1039 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 17 g protein.

Cook’s Wisdom

Add a dash or 2 of hot sauce for an interesting twist to this creamy soup.

Serve with crusty bread or crackers.