Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 celery rib, chopped or sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock (add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt if using unsalted stock)
1 cup (250 ml) Guinness extra stout (do not use draught)
1/2 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
6 ounces (170 g) grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Chopped chives for garnish
1 Melt butter on medium heat in a large, thick-bottomed pot. Add the onions and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and cook 5 minutes more.
2 Add the sliced potatoes to the pot. Add the chicken stock, Guinness extra stout, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easily fall apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3 When the potatoes are tender, remove the pot from the heat. Pour potato mixture into a bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender, filling the blender bowl only a third full at a time. Add a portion of the grated cheddar to the blender bowl as well. (If it takes 3 batches to purée the soup, divide the cheese into 3 portions.) Holding the lid of the blender down (to keep the hot liquid from erupting out of the blender), pulse until smooth. Return the smooth purée to the soup pot.
4 Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and paprika. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. If the soup is too sour or bitter to your taste, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the soup.
Garnish with chopped chives.