BEER SOUP (a.k.a. MAN SOUP)

Beer Soup with Spinach, Cheese, and Sausage
From Hudson Valley Magazine, December 2005

Serves 4

8 oz. breakfast sausage
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
¼ cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1 cup or more full-bodied beer
8 oz grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the sausage into small slices or pieces; brown in a pan that is large enough to hold the soup.  Drain and set the sausage aside.  Heat the oil.  If there is enough fat leftover from cooking the sausage, I won’t add any oil.  Add the scallions and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the chopped spinach.  Add the spinach in batches (a handful or two at a time) until it wilts enough to add more.  Cook and stir until the spinach wilts.  Add the sausage.  Sprinkle the mixture with the flour.  Slowly add the skim milk while stirring continuously.  *** If preparing the soup in advance, stop at this point.  When ready to serve, add the beer.  Bring the soup to a boil. (This is very important. If you don’t boil it, the soup ends up tasting very beer-y. This is not pleasant.)  Add the cheese and cook until it has melted.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

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