From the Beer Wench's Kitchen
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Blackstone Cheese Soup
By The Beer Wench

Article Originally Published in Southern Brew News

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  Hello again, Brew News Fans.  The Beer Wench has been keeping cool by traveling around and scrounging up hot new recipes.  Now remember, if you have a favorite beer spot that serves a special dish, let me know.  I’m always looking for a reason to go wandering.  My travels recently have taken me from Nashville, TN to New Orleans, LA.  Nashville is the focus for this article.

Nashville, home of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the birthplace of many music careers, also keeps its locals from succumbing to thirst. There are several hot beer spots such as The Flying Saucer, Bosco’s, and its newest brewery Yazoo, but the featured hot spot is Blackstone Restaurant and Brewery.  Located at 1918 West End Avenue, Blackstone prides itself on its delicious menu as well as its wonderful, craft-brewed beers. Brewer, Dave Miller, and Assistant Brewer, Travis Hixon, strive to bring their customers beers that are high quality and tasty as well as a compliment to the food served up in the dining room. In fact, many of their recipes are made with beer. For detailed information and great pictures on Blackstone and other Nashville spots, click here.

The recipe is Smoked Gouda Pale Ale Soup which is made with Blackstone’s Chaser Kolsch, but Travis recommends serving it with their Nut Brown Ale. This recipe is great for serving as a first course while doing some grilling or even on its own with bread and a salad. Obviously, if you can’t put your hands on Blackstone’s beer, you can find complimentary styles at your local beer store.  I do strongly suggest a trip to Nashville for the real thing when you can find the time.

Smoked Gouda Pale Ale Soup

2 oz. onion, diced
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 gl. Milk
4 cups chicken stock
1 ˝ cups Chaser Pale (kolsch)
2 sticks butter
1 cup flour
1 1/4 lb. smoked gouda cheese, shredded
3/4 lb. American cheese, cubed
1 T. black pepper
1 T. kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream

In a stockpot, sauté onion in vegetable oil until soft. Add milk, chicken stock, and beer to onion mixture. Bring to a simmer. In a separate pan, make  a roux whisking the flour into the melted butter. Cook and constantly stir  mixture for 5 minutes. Incorporate roux into  stockpot, whisking continuously  to prevent lumps. Bring soup back to a simmer. Remove from heat and add  cheeses. Allow melting for approximately 10 minutes. Using a hand mixer, blend mixture until smooth. Add salt, pepper and heavy cream. Serve with an English-style Nut Brown Ale.

The Beer -- Blackstone’s English Nut Brown Ale is a true classic. Made with 2-row pale barley malt, imported crystal, Munich and chocolate malts and hopped exclusively with Willamettes, an American-grown Fuggle type hop, this beer has a tasty toasted, nutty flavor and aroma.  It makes a great pairing with many foods including this wonderful cheese soup.

The Beer Wench would like to say that this is a true labor of love… somebody’s got to do it. Thanks to all the breweries and restaurants who make it possible. Coming up will be a London Broil recipe from Heinselmannchen Brewery in Sylva, NC and a mussels recipe from Crescent City Brewhouse in New Orleans, LA.  Eat well and drink good beer.

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