Cheese and Ale Soup
5 Tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, chopped fine
1 cup celery, with leaves, chopped fine
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped fine
1 cup parsnips, peeled and chopped fine
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
3½ cups rich chicken stock
4 cups Bass ale
2 bay leaves
cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce, to taste
4 Tablespoons cornstarch, diluted in cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound Stilton and Cheddar cheese (the proportion of each, to your taste), grated
salt, to taste
Garnish: minced parsley

Melt the butter over low heat in a large pot, then toss in the vegetables, cover, and sweat til the onion is transparent. Stir in the flour (adding more butter if it is too dry) and let cook 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and ale, and stir in the bay leaves and hot peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the diluted cornstarch, raise the heat to medium high, and let cook until the soup thickens. Stir in the cream, then stir in the cheese by handfuls. When the soup has thickened nicely, take off the heat, cover, and let the flavors blend. When ready to serve, reheat and ladle into bowls.

Brown bread! Butter! Tankards of ale!