2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped up carrot (Good use for leftover carrot sticks)
1 cup chopped up celery (Good use for leftover celery sticks)
1 small onion, chopped up
1 jarred bell pepper, chopped or ¼ fresh bell pepper, chopped up
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Morton® Fine Sea Salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 bottle light-colored beer, No IPAs or anything hoppy
1 cup cream or half & half
Pinch chili flakes
Big pinch mustard powder
Big splash Worcestershire sauce
2 slices deli-style rye bread (try and get it with seeds), cut into little croutons
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups shredded cheese (use your leftover scraps, but make sure at least half is sharp yellow cheddar)
Handful celery leaves, rough chopped
Turn the oven to 375ºF.
Get the butter melting in a soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and give it a good stir. Cover and cook until you hear sizzling. Stir some more and cook until the veggies lose their raw look, about 3 minutes. Season with Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt and pepper and toss in the flour. Stir to coat everything with flour.
Pour in the broth and beer and stir until it thickens a little. Splash in the cream, and give it the chili flakes, mustard powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to bring everything together and simmer until the veggies are soft, about 15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering make the croutons: toss the rye bread cubes and oil on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted, about 8 minutes.
Remove and throw away the bay leaf. Blend the soup with an electric blender until smooth and start it simmering. Turn down the heat to as low it will go. Stir in the cheese just until fully melted.
Serve right away in bowls garnished with rye croutons and celery leaves.
Note: Onion and garlic skin scraps can be saved for making stock or broth.