Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beer Cheese Soup

aka: heart attack in a bowl. What started as a fun adventure to use up some great cheese left over from the weekend's entertainment turned into a pot of yummy and rich liquid that some in Wisconsin eat as soup. I think the appropriate way to eat this is with a side of chips and a beer - and with no thought paid to the calories consumed.

This qualifies as "baking" because I used the oven to cook the bacon!

I took the recipe I found on Epicurious and added a few different cheeses and spice to deepen the flavor. The blue cheese addition was my favorite. Tasting the soup before and after confirmed that it was a needed addition - yet you might not be able to pick it out.

As I relaxed with my husband - trying to digest the cheese - we watched Good Eats with Alton Brown. His show was an "homage to fromage" and he made some soup! Check out the notes with his tips that should be implemented.

Cheddar Beer Soup

as adapted from
2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
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 bay leaf
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
1 (12-oz) bottle ale such as Bass (I used Harp)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb extra-sharp Cheddar (preferably English; rind removed if necessary), grated (4 cups)

handful of other leftover cheese: blue cheese, parmesan, whatever you like and have onhand!
4 bacon slices (3 1/2 oz total), cooked and crumbled


Cook onions, 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 broth and cook for 30 minutes to meld flavors. Discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend mixture to break up and smooth out the vegetables. Strain mixture through a sieve back into the pot. Add milk and beer in a stream, whisking, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Add cheese by handfuls (slowly), stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (do not boil).
Serve sprinkled with bacon (popcorn is another popular topping)

Great sides: rye bread, meatloaf, and a beer of course!


Tangled Noodle said...

The first time I had beer cheese soup was in a little diner in Stillwater - it had popcorn on top and I had to ask my hubby if that was normal. 8-) The soup itself was okay but your version here looks and sounds much tastier!

Sharon said...

My husband has asked me too many times to make him beer cheese soup! I've never had it before, so I've never craved it but now....I want it. Looks tasty!