Cheddar and Beer Soup with Spicy Popcorn Garnish

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 35 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, finely chopped or processed until crumbly

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons minced garlic

8 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken stock

2 cups lager beer, preferably amber

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups grated Cheddar (about 12 ounces)

Spicy Popcorn, for garnish, recipe follows

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, for garnish

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

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Garnish each serving of the soup with a handful of the popcorn and minced fresh chives.

Spicy Popcorn:

  1. 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.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Yield: 2/3 cup
  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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