It’s almost too late for me to post this recipe.  Thanks to Texas being… Texas, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately.  After one week of temperatures in the 30s (unheard of!) it was near 80 last week and sunny, gorgeous patio and iced tea weather.  But I hear we have a cold front coming in so maybe someone can make use of this recipe, or those of you in colder climates can have a hearty, warming dinner!

I wanted to reproduce a soup I only got the dregs of when I arrived late one evening at Anvil.  Michael, sous chef at Stella Sola, is from Wisconsin, where it gets really cold, and he had made an amazing stew from brats, cheddar, and beer.  When I got there, the soup had congealed to morsels of thick cheese, but the flavor was still amazing.  I sopped every last bit of it up with whatever bread I could get my hands on.

I trolled around the internet reading and combining various recipes and arrived at a result which was quite satisfactory – hearty, warming, and bowl licking delicious.

In a heavy stockpot, melt 6T butter.  Add and saute one chopped onion, 1 c chopped carrot, and 1 c chopped celery.  Add 1/2 c flour, stir to coat.  Slowly add 2 c broth (I used homemade turkey stock from thanksgiving) and 1 bottle of Chimay.  Bring to a boil, add 2 c cubed potatoes.  Simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.  While this is happening, slice and sautee separately 1 lb good quality smoked sausage.  When potatoes are cooked, add 1 lb grated cheddar, 1 c milk and 1 c cream or half and half.  Stir over low heat until cheese melts and is smooth.  Season with Worcestershire,  mustard, paprika, and thyme.  Stir in the sausage and serve hot.

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