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Cheddar-Ale Soup

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Cheddar-Ale Soup By

Makes 6 servings, 1 3/4 cups each ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

ake the chill off a cold winter's night with this creamy cheese- and beer-lover's soup. Make it a meal: Serve with hearty whole-grain farm bread and a salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.

1 tablespoon canola oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale 2 18-ounce bags precooked diced peeled potatoes (see Tip) 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 cup water 2 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat milk 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced or finely chopped

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add beer; bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, broth and water; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes with a potato masher to the desired consistency.

2. Whisk milk and flour and add to the soup. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 1/4 cups cheese and stir until melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bell pepper.

Nutrition Information Per serving: 395 calories; 12 g fat (6 g sat, 1 g mono); 29 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 5 g fiber; 387 mg sodium; 274 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Vitamin A (35% dv), Calcium (30% dv), Fiber (20% dv). 3 Carbohydrate Servings Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high fat meat, 1 fat

Tip Look for precooked diced potatoes in the refrigerated section of most supermarket produce departments-near other fresh, prepared vegetables. Substitution tip: Peel 2 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and boil until tender (about 15 minutes).

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