This soup has all the ingredients Wisconsin is famous for....cheese, beer and brats!
6 slices bacon, diced
3 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 pound bratwurst (any flavor), chopped or crumbled
1 tablespoon minced garlic (more or less to taste)
¾ cup all purpose flour
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups beer, lager or dark, at room temperature (I used Guinness Stout)
3 bay leaves, whole
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 - 2 teaspoons hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
12 ounces sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated* (plus some for garnish)
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Over medium heat, in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven, cook bacon for 5 minutes to release the fat, stir in butter and allow to melt.
Add onions and bratwurst and cook, stirring often to caramelize onions, about 15 minutes, add garlic and cook for another minute. Add flour and stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock, one cup at a time, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add beer and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Add cream, Worcestershire, hot sauce and dry mustard, stirring well.
Add cheese, a little at a time, stirring after each addition to completely melt the cheese.
Taste for seasoning, adding salt and/or pepper at this time.
Serve in bowls, garnish with a sprinkling of cheese and scallions.