Iron City Lager Cheddar Soup

This. Soup. Rules.

In the words of the great Myron Cope, "MMMHAH!" It's got beer, cheese, bacon, along with a few herbs and veggies - what else do yinz need? AND It's perfect for the icy depths of winter. I love soups of all kinds - tomato, squash, noodle, chowder, bisque, french onion - but this might be the heartiest and tastiest one I've ever made.

Speaking of Myron, it was on this date in 1975 that he created the unofficial flag and emblem of Steeler Nation - the Terrible Towel. Check out the tale of the Towel, as told by Myron himself. 

The Terrible Towel would of course go on to be mimicked by teams in all different sports, the copycats masquerading as "rally towels." Going to games with my dad, I learned that towel waves are reserved for big moments - TDs, turnovers, and of course, Renegade. If you ask me, this lager and cheese soup deserves a towel twirl or two. 

Iron City Lager Cheddar Soup

6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 cup yellow onion (about 1/2 an onion), diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
12 oz Iron City Lager
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz smoked cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook chopped bacon in large frying pan over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove cooked bacon and place on towel-lined plate. Add onion, celery, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to frying pan and cook in bacon grease about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 6 oz of lager (half a bottle) and cook 5 minutes more. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Stir and lower heat.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat, then whisk in flour. Once combined, carefully pour in contents of frying pan and whisk together. Stir in heavy cream, cheese and remaining lager and bring to a simmer. Stir in bacon and garnish with thyme. 

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