Cheddar and Beer Soup with Spicy Popcorn Garnish

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 55 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr 35 min
 
YIELD: 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, finely chopped or processed until crumbly
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
SPICY POPCORN:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white popping corn
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
EMERIL'S ESSENCE CREOLE SEASONING (ALSO REFERRED TO AS BAYOU BLAST):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
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Directions

Cook the kielbasa in the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over high heat until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and the beer. Add the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring until nearly completely melted after each addition. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Garnish each serving of the soup with a handful of the popcorn and minced fresh chives.

For the popcorn: In a large, partially covered saucepan heat olive oil and 1 piece of popping corn until hot enough to make the corn pop. Add the remaining popping corn and cook partially covered, shaking, until all corn is popped. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated.
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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