Smoked Cheese Bisque

  Oh cheese…I wish I could quit you.
  No I don’t.  Who am I kidding?
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 c chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground mustard powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
6 oz smoked Gouda, shredded
2 oz sharp Cheddar, shredded
Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
  Start by melting your butter in a large saucepan over medium heat (it should be big enough for all your ingredients…this is a one pan recipe, hooray!).  Add your onion, celery, carrots and salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, til the veggies are soft.
  Stir in your garlic and cook for an additional minute before adding your lemon juice.  Scrape up any browned portions off the bottom of the pan and cook for another minute or so until the juice evaporates.  Stir your flour in and cook for another minute, whisking constantly.
  Once your flour is cooked in, add your stock, Worcestershire, mustard powder and paprika.  Bring everything up to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
  Remove everything from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or, as always, a normal blender with a towel over the top so it doesn’t explode will do).
  Bring everything back to a simmer before turning off the heat and stirring in your cheese.  Continue stirring until it’s completely melted.  Serve hot.
  This was fabulous.  We served it with some crusty bread and shared with some friends who had come to stay the night (only slightly grudgingly…we love them dearly enough to share our cheesey soup) and not a drop was left.
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