WiscoCheeseland Beer Cheese Potato Soup
So, I've been pretty occupied lately . Life was getting me down and I'm back in the game again. However, I'm not sure if you heard, but I did not win the Powerball. I mean, I was just as shocked as you are. Me. I totally should have won. Just saying.
Anyway. It's been rough this month going dry; starting a new job that I grew to hate (yes, HATE), being broke, giving up FB (for the month as well-probably), no more bacon and questioning what I want to do with my life. But in all honesty, I just don't know what I want to do when I grow up. God knows, I have tried Almost everything. It's been a struggle. And I'm 33. I should know now. Like, an a-ha moment or some garbage. I think most people just accept their crappy job and are able to do it. Everyday. Something stubborn in me, just won't accept that my life is supposed to be total shit. Immature? Possibly. But, I can't live a life of shit (sorry, I said shit twice. Three times actually.)
Going dry in Wisconsin is crazy. Everyone drinks. Okay, maybe not EVERYONE. But, most social occasions definitely pow wow around a cocktail or two (or 5 or 6). It's just normal here. I remember when I lived on the East Coast, people just didn't drink like Wisconsinites. We'd go out at 10 pm, have 3 drinks and they'd all want to go home. And sometimes we'd drive out to the city (New York) for such a short night. From my perspective, we were just starting.
We're a different breed up here. We like to unwind and most of us can handle more liquor than anyone thought could actually be consumed. Maybe it's the bitter cold winters that drive us to drink or the sporadic patio weather that drives us to celebrate the good weather. Regardless, we drink. A lot. It just is. But, after I read a novel by Jane Green that the main character had a drinking problem, and the countless articles about "going dry" for the month of January, I thought to give it a shot. One. To prove that I don't have a drinking problem (to myself), and Two. To do a cleanse. Good to clear your liver out once (or maybe twice I'm thinking now) a year.
Although, not going out and not drinking isn't that tough. With the crappy new job or the way that the job Made me feel, I definitely wanted a glass of wine after work. Every day. But, going out. That is the main issue. The few social gatherings I have talked myself into going to and had to deal with drunks around me (I still love them), made me realize...drinking with them is more tolerable than not. Sad right?! Being sober with a bunch of ridiculous drunks is actually painful. And the realization that I felt like I Had to drink to be able to tolerate being around some people is a real eye opener. Not to say, that I won't pop open one of the 3 bottles of wine that are patiently chilling in my fridge when the times comes. But it has been seriously educational. I have stayed strong! Less than 2 weeks to go.
So, with no further adieu....Beer Cheese Potato Soup. A girlfriend from Hawaii used to say I was from WiscoCheeseland (Wisconsin) and I thought it fitting to name my dry month soup after it. Since, it does have beer and I'm from Wisconsin. Okay, blah blah. I make a bunch of cream bases with roux, but I thought I'd try a cream soup without the roux, 'cause we all could take a break from the EXTRA gluten every now and then. That delicious poison. Feel free to use a gluten free beer though!
Servings: 4-5 Time: About 45 minutes Ingredients: 4 TBS Herb Butter (or regular will do) 3/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion 1/3 Cup Chopped Carrots 2 Cloves Organic Garlic (minced) 3 Cups Organic Potatoes (peeled & cubed to bite sized pieces) 2 Cups High Quality Vegetable Broth 1 Bottle Red Ale Beer 1/2 Cup Half & Half 1 1/4 Cup High Quality Aged White Cheddar Cheese (shredded by hand), plus more for garnish 2 oz Cream Cheese (cubed) 2 TBS Liquid Smoke Salt & Pepper to taste Optional-
Sprinkle of extra Cheddar Cheese Green Onion (yes, MORE onion. Hello, Stinky breath! Shush. It's good for you and looks prettier. Just do it.)
Melt butter in a Large soup pot on Med Low. I have herb butter on hand, but use whatever you like.
Saute onion a few minutes, then add garlic. Stir till onion is translucent, and make sure not to burn the garlic. Add carrots and potatoes. Saute a few more minutes and coat all veggies in the butter.
Add the Vegetable Broth and turn heat up to Med for about 15 mins. or until the potatoes are tender.
Turn heat down to Med Low again and pour the entire bottle of beer in. That sweet, sweet nectar. I mean, you can totally take a sip if you want, but sadly, I did not. Being dry and all (I told you, STRONG!) Once the foam goes down and have stirred well, turn back up to Med heat till it boils.
Then turn heat down to Med Low. Add the Half & Half, Shredded Cheese and the Cream Cheese. Once the cheeses blend out (the cream cheese will take awhile till it totally melts and isn't speckled in the pot anymore. Be patient and don't crank the heat), about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and add the Liquid Smoke and Salt & Pepper to taste.
Top with more cheese and green onion. Enjoy!