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Cheddar Ale Soup

Yields1 Serving

 4 slices bacon
 4 tbsp Salted Butter
 ½ cup minced onion
 ¼ cup minced carrot
 ¼ cup minced celery
 1 small bay leaf
  cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
 1 (12-ounce) bottle ale
 2 cups lowfat (1%) milk
 1 (14-ounce) can 99% fat-free chicken broth
 1 tsp dry mustard
 1 lb Calef's Rat Trap Cheddar, grated (about 4 cups)
 Salt and ground black pepper to taste

In skillet or microwave, cook bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside.


In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are translucent and softened, about 4 minutes.


Stir in flour and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes longer.


Gradually whisk in ale; stirring for about two minutes or until mixture is bubbling and thickened. Whisk in milk, chicken broth and dry mustard. Bring soup to simmer, stirring often so it doesn't scorch on bottom of pan.


Add cheese a handful at a time; stir until cheese is melted and soup is hot, but do not let soup boil. Remove from heat, remove and discard bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.


Serve topped with crumbled bacon.