Source: Mother Liza and Auntie Marcy
- 4 oz diced pancetta
- 2 to 3 cups diced onions, from 2 to 3 onion
- 1 to 2 cups diced celery, from 4 to 5 stalks
- 2 cups diced carrots, from 4 to 5 carrots
- 2 cups diced red bell pepper, from 1 to 2 peppers
- 2 cups diced, peeled red potato, from 4 to 5
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 6 cups chicken stock, homemade is best
- 12 ounces beer
- 3.5 cups milk, 2% or whole
- 4 cups grated cheddar cheese, about 1 lb.
- 2/3 cup flour
- dashes Worcestershire
- dashes hot sauce
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Bread for serving
- In a large soup pot, heat pancetta over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until crisp and brown. Remove pancetta with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
- In the rendered fat, sweat the onions, carrots, celery and pepper over medium heat for 15 minutes until soft. Note: If your pancetta wasn’t very fatty, add some oil to the pot.
- Add thyme, potato and chicken broth and simmer until potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Add beer.
- Heat the milk in a separate pot until it just barely boils. Meanwhile, grate the cheese on the large-holed side of a grater and place it in a large Ziploc bag. Shake with the 2/3 cup flour. Add this cheese-flour mixture to the hot milk and stir until the cheese has melted and the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Add the milk mixture to the pot with veggies and stock. Add mustard, sauces and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk for a few minutes to avoid curdling.
- When serving, sprinkle some reserved pancetta in each bowl. Add more hot sauce to taste. Serve with bread.