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  • Leek and Potato Soup With Amber Ale and Swiss Cheese

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  • 4 cups chopped leeks (about 2 pounds whole leeks), white and pale-green portions only
    1 medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped
    2 tablespoons butter
    4 medium-sized potatoes (russet variety), peeled and chopped
    3 cups chicken broth
    1 cup amber ale (see note)
    About 1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
    Salt and white pepper, to taste
    1 1/2 to 2 cups grated Swiss cheese, plus more for garnish
    In large pot, saute the leeks and onion in the butter for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, broth and ale; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
    Place mixture in a blender or food processor, small batches at a time, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, stir in enough of the milk or half-and-half to achieve desired consistency (somewhat thick). Bring soup back up to a very hot temperature, then sprinkle in the cheese, a little at a time. When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls and top each serving with additional cheese.
    Makes 6 servings.
    NOTE: There are plenty of regional, craft breweries producing amber ale (it's slightly nuttier-tasting than pale ale), including Rogue Ales, Ninkasi Brewing Co., BridgePort Brewing Co., Bend Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery and Widmer Bros.
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