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Cheddar Beer Soup

['2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)', '2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)', '2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)', '2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic', '1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf', '1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter', '1/3 cup all-purpose flour', '2 cups whole milk', '1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)', '1 (12-oz) bottle ale such as Bass', '1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce', '1 teaspoon dry mustard', '1 teaspoon salt', '1/4 teaspoon black pepper', '1 lb extra-sharp Cheddar (preferably English; rind removed if necessary), grated (4 cups)', '4 bacon slices (3 1/2 oz total)', 'cooked and crumbled']

Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating water, then lift out leeks and drain in a colander.
Cook leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaf in butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low and sprinkle flour over vegetables, then cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add milk, broth, and beer in a stream, whisking, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Add cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (do not boil). Discard bay leaf.
Serve sprinkled with bacon.

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