3medium leeks, white and light green part only, sliced
3/4cup sliced celery
8medium Yukon Gold potatoes, coarsely chopped
1can (12-ounce) Irish red ale
4cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
3tablespoons all-purpose flour
4cups whole or 2% low-fat milk
7ounces grated Kerrygold Dubliner’s cheese
3/4cup finely minced parsley (optional)
4ounces crumbled blue cheese, preferably Cashel (optional)
Crisp cooked bacon crumbled (optional)
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 6- to 8-quart stockpot. Add onion, leek and celery; cook over medium heat about 10 minutes.
Add potatoes, ale, stock, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
Melt remaining butter in a medium saucepan; gradually add flour, whisking until smooth. Cook 3 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in milk, whisking until hot and thickened. Add cheese; stir until melted.
Stir cheese mixture into potato mixture until combined. Cook over very low heat 10 minutes.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley, blue cheese and bacon, if desired.