2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable stock
1 12-ounce beer (I used a belgian wheat ale)
1 cup half and half
12 ounces Sincerely, Brigitte™ chipotle cheddar cheese, grated
salt, to taste
another red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and smoked paprika, and cook, stirring often, until all of the veggies are soft (about 5-8 minutes).
add the butter. when the butter has melted, add the flour. continue to cook, still stirring often, for another 3 minutes.
add the vegetable stock and beer. turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.
add the half and half, followed by the cheese. add the cheese in handfuls, making sure each one has melted completely before adding the next one. add salt to taste.
puree the soup in a blender (or with an immersion blender) until it is completely smooth. if you want some extra crunch, add the second chopped red bell pepper. serve immediately.