British Sideploughman's soup

Ploughman's Soup*
(Serves 6-8)

A new take on the ploughman's lunch, a lunch served in taverns throughout the British Isles.

6 T butter
2 large onions (finely chopped)
1/2 C flour
4 C chicken broth
2 C light ale
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 C crumbled Cheddar or Cheshire cheese
salt & pepper

In a large pot, saute the onion in butter till tender. Stir in flour to make a roux (see sidebar). Slowly stir in chicken broth and ale. Continue stirring and bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer till thickened. Add Worcestershire sauce. Gradually, add cheese, stirring until all is melted. Add salt and pepper. Serve with salad and crackers or crusty bread.

*See sidebar for Ploughman's Lunch

| See more British recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Clotted Cream: a thick yellowish cream made from unpasturized cow's milk. You can make your own, although it's hard to find unpasturized cream in the U.S. Still, you'll find 3 recipes under Scones. All use pasturized cream; try to avoid "ultra" pasturized.

Ploughman's Lunch: sounds romantic, like a peasant dish from medieval times, but it's a marketing gimmick from the 1970's! It's become a popular lunch in Britain now: a piece of bread, hunk of cheese, with onion, gherkin, and an apple. Our Ploughman's Soup is a take-off on that name.

Roux: (“roo”), paste-like mixture of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. Used as a thickening agent for soups and all classic French sauces. Basic Roux: melt 1 part butter and add 1 part flour. Stir continuously till it becomes paste-like. Slowly add whatever liquid your recipe calls for.

Tea Time: Afternoon tea became fashionable in the mid-1600's. A light snack with sandwiches and sweets, it's served from 3-5 in a sitting room. High tea, is a light meal served from 5-6 in a dining room. ("High" because the dining table is higher than the low ones in a sitting room.)

Yorkshire Pudding: from the northern county of Yorkshire, originating in the early 1700s when flour was more readily available. A pancake like batter is spooned into the drippings of a roast as it cooks. Eaten alongside the roast or as a separate course.


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