- 1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups Chicken Stock 
- 2 cups lager beer, preferably amber
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 cups grated Cheddar cheese (12 ounces or 3/4 pound)
- Cheesy Popcorn 
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, for garnish
Cook the kielbasa in the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over high heat until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and the beer. Add the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Add the cheese, a little at a time, stirring until nearly melted after each addition. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the Cheesy Popcorn and minced fresh chives.