It has been decided that I have the worst luck with kitchen appliances.
You know that saying, “when it rains, it pours”?
Yeah, well it is pouring rain over here in my kitchen. The appliances have all failed. Like almost every single one in the last few days. It is actually kind of bizarre.
Oh, and the internet was also out all day yesterday, so I guess it is more than just kitchen appliances. But, but, but thankfully, there is this thing called a hotspot on the iPhone and it rules. No, it really saves the day… and makes me pretty darn happy.
Also, oven heating elements HATE me. Really they actually hate me… with a real passion.
Up until two years ago I would have never known what an oven heating element was, but over the last two years I have had four go on me. This means that I have fried the coils that heat three different ovens FOUR times in two years. Three times for the double ovens in my old house (twice on the top, once on the bottom) and once for the oven in this new house. And really, I did not just fry the coils. No, on this latest one, it is more like I like I fried it down to the point of Ashes.
But hey, I only used this latest oven once before it went on me, but this one was definitely the worst. Apparently when the heating element blew it somehow grounded to the floor (not sure if I am regurgitating this right) and went back up and fried the circuit board – done! I just could not have done that kind of damage after one use. It is just not even possible.
Other appliances that have gone in the last two days?
The dishwasher has stopped cleaning dishes (send the extra dish washing hands. PLEASE!), the fridge only stays cool in the back and also does not make ice anymore and the microwave is making some pretty loud and odd sounds. Probably gonna die soon. We already replaced the washer. New houses, gotta love em.
The good news is that we did get a new sink. It is working great……for now. Just give me like ten minutes with it and watch, the thing will start leaking. I am telling you, I think I am cursed. Things just seem to break around me.
I am not complaining though. It’s gonna be OK.
I have soup.
Soup makes things better. It has been proven. Well, at least I think it has been proven, but if not who cares. Everyone knows soup just makes things better.
Also, soup requires no oven at all. Shoot, the popcorn does, but only for like five minutes. That doesn’t even count……except of course if your oven is broken. Yup, then it counts. Good thing I made this before the frying occurred.
If I am being honest, I am actually not bummed at all about the failing appliances. The fact that the appliances are failing so badly means new appliances, which is kind of a fun thing. The appliances that came with the new house were nothing special, which is probably why they are failing.
I am totally down with a new oven.
A new oven means I can make all the chili cheese popcorn I want. Yes. FYI, chili cheese popcorn is the bomb. It is even better atop this creamy, cheesy and kind of dreamy pale ale soup. The flavor of this soup is insane. So good.
I know it is kind of a classic soup, but it is classic for a reason.
It’s darn good.
So darn good that Dad says it is the best soup he has ever had. He told me to tell you that. So now you really have to make it… and do not skip the popcorn (he said that too). It is just so good!
Cheddar Ale Soup with Chili Cheese Popcorn.
Serving Size: 4-6
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped (can be left out if needed)
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seed and diced
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups of your favorite pale ale, divided
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces smoked gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 green onions, chopped, for serving
- Chili Cheese Popcorn
- 6 cups air popped popcorn
- 2 cup crushed tortilla chips, lightly crushed
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is crisp, 5-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Add the onions and a pinch of brown sugar into the pot used to cook the bacon. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. At this point, slowly add in some of the beer, let it cook into the onions, add more and continue to cook. Do this until you have used 1/2 cup of beer or until the onions are caramelized to your liking and the beer has evaporated. Add the celery, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes. Add the other half of the remaining beer and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Slowly and carefully whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook the soup until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheese + gruyere cheese and the remaining beer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Stir in half of the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the chili cheese popcorn, the remaining crumbled bacon and green onions.
To make the chili cheese popcorn whisk together the butter, chili powder, cumin and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place the popcorn and crushed tortilla chips on a baking sheet and pour the butter mixture over the popcorn. Toss well. Sprinkle the popcorn with cheese and bake five minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm with the soup.
*If you prefer to leave the bacon out just add 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil in it’s place.
And darn comforting.