Vegetarian Beer Cheese Soup
The title says vegetarian, and the version Zach made for dinner with pretzel sticks was indeed vegetarian. However, you can make this meateater-approved by switching vegetable broth for chicken broth, and adding grilled or smoked sausage in the final step.
3 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of half and half
12 oz. bottled beer of choice (we used Lagunitas Lucky 13)
1 cup of all-purpose flour
7 oz. of white cheddar cheese
7 oz. of jarlsberg cheese
1/2 cup of butter
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup of peeled and chopped carrots
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/2 tsp. of dried mustard
1/2 tsp. of salt
Melt the butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. In this, saute the chopped onion, carrots, and celery until soft but not mushy; you want to maintain some texture and a tiny bit of crunch in the midst of a very creamy soup.
Add the flour, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the vegetable broth and beer, and bring to a boil.
Pour in the half and half, then mix in the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Reduce the heat to low and cook until thick and creamy, about 4-5 minutes if that.