"Maman, when can you make some soup?" "We never have soup." "Other kids get soup." The frequent reminders of how other kids are so lucky and why couldn't we ever eat like other people and why oh why could I not feed my poor kids soup finally got to me this weekend.
I made soup.
But I made soup with Guinness because if I have to cook after listening to all the complaints there has to be some joy in it for me. I'm joking, of course; there was extra cheese too.
I've been a beer drinker since spending a year studying in Wales. It was either succumb to ale and stout and all things beer or stay parched. Besides learning about neolithic tool making while I was overseas, I also learned I have definite beer-drinking tastes and that some beers, like Guinness, are great accompaniments to certain dishes. Guinness released a new product in Canada recently—the Blonde American Lager—so the timing for my soup-making was perfect. Besides, is there a more perfect combo than potatoes, cheese, and bacon?
There's only one right answer.
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Sautée the cubed bacon over medium heat in the casserole or pot you'll use to make the soup. Once the bacon is slightly cispy, remove from pot and set aside.
Add chopped onion and minced garlic to the bacon fat and sautée until onion is softened and begins to caramelize. Meanwhile, chop the green onions into small pieces and set aside.
Once the onion is finished cooking, add the Guinness and use it to scrape the caramelized onion and any remaining bacon bits off the bottom. Add diced celery, carrots, and potatoes and top with salt, pepper, and chicken stock.
Allow to simmer over low-medium heat for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked - you should be able to spear the potato without mashing it.
Laddle approximately 1/2 the mixture into a blender and purée the soup. Add the puréed soup back into the pot, add the cream, cheese, and thyme and stir gently.
Simmer over low-medium heat for another 15-20 minutes and serve topped with bacon and green onions.