My family has very few holidays where we religiously create the same meal, but Saint Patrick's Day has always been one of them. Typically, we have corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and chocolate mint cake and revel in our semi Irish heritage. This year, trying the whole vegetarian thing, I had to come up with something new that still felt Irish. I have always seen versions of Beer Cheddar Soup in cooking magazines and decided to take a crack at making one that had a little substance. Overall, it was pretty good, but I still kind of missed my corned beef with mustard!
4 russet potatoes, chopped, skin on
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 a beer- I used Hefenweizen
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese + some for topping
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped- remove dark green leaves
1/2 bunch chives, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a pyrex pan, mix potatoes and garlic with a little olive oil and roast for an hour.
When potatoes are roasted, add to a soup pot with carrots and liquids. Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and blend soup with an immersion blender until smooth, but still a little chunky. Turn heat back on to low and stir in cheese.
In a frying pan, sautee the leeks and onion until tender and add these and the chives to the soup. Season to taste.
Serve soup topped with cheese and chives and a little cracked pepper.