Cheddar Cheese + Beer Soup

Have you ever had Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup? Well, if you like beer and you like cheese then your mind is about to be blown because this soup is so good.  Seriously, eat it.  I made this after a long day of Oktoberfest and all I could think about was beer. Lucky for me, I had my favorite Blue Moon Seasonal pack so I didn’t have to just think about beer I could drink it too. The only problem was it was really cold out, which is strange for California. It’s October after all so I couldn’t think of better way to enjoy the fall season then with hot soup on a chilly day.

What made this soup even better was eating it while watching Sunday Night Football. Cheddar Cheese + Beer Soup…. could it be any more perfect for fall football?

To build the base for this soup, chop 1/2 cup of onions, 1/4 cup of celery and 2 tablespoons of garlic. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot and add the onions and celery until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic a few minutes after the onions and celery because it cooks quickly and you don’t want it to burn. Do you remember when I made Chicken Stock and I promised you that all the work would be worth it when you made an amazing soup that all your friends would be talking about? Well, that time has come my friends. Take 6 cups of stock out of the freezer and defrost it in the microwave. If you haven’t made your own stock, you can use store-bought stock, but you really should try making your own stock. Homemade stock tastes so much better and is much healthier because you can control your ingredients. Not to mention, you are one step closer to cooking like a professional.

When the onions are translucent add 6 cups of Chicken Stock and bring to a simmer (there should be small bubbles just breaking the surface, DO NOT BOIL).

In a small sauce pan, make a roux. The classic ratio for roux is 60% flour to 40% fat. For the “fat” the classic go to is butter. The roux should be smooth and glossy. If it is greasy you need more flour and if it is too dry you need more butter. When the roux looks like wet sand, add it to the stock pot with the chicken stock, onions, celery and garlic and whisk until the soup begins to thicken. When adding a roux to the chicken stock mixture, you create a classic Velouté, which is the base for many professional sauces and soups. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. After simmering for 30 minutes, the soup should be thick and creamy, almost the same texture as velvet. Take a taste, even at this point the soup is delicious. It is a creamy chicken soup, you could almost stop here… but why would you when you still have cheese and beer to add.

One thing you should get in the habit of is always tasting your dish as it develops. Taste every time you season or add something new, that way you can control the flavor and get the end result you are looking for.

When you have reached the desired seasoning, strain the soup in a fine mesh strainer and discard the onions, celery and garlic left behind. Return the soup to the stock pot and continue to heat on a low simmer, DO NOT BOIL. Add 4 oz of beer (preferably lager or ale), I used Blue Moon’s Carmel Spiced Apple Ale because it was perfectly spiced for a cold October night. Also I love cheese and apples it is such a great pairing of sweet and salty. Whisk in the beer and 3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese until melted.Blend 1/2 tablespoon of dry mustard with water to create a paste. If you don’t add the water and add the mustard directly into the soup it will get clumpy. Add the mustard paste to the soup and whisk.

Add 4 oz of cream to the soup and whisk.

Season with 1/2 tablespoon of Worcestershire and 1/2 tablespoon of hot sauce.And that’s it! Mix the soup well and ladle into a bowl or a bread bowl. I used Dark Rye Bread Bowls because one can never go wrong with bread to dip in your cheesy beer soup. If you don’t make a bread bowl you could make croutons to garnish the soup. For those of you that like bacon, it would also make a GREAT garnish on top of the soup. 

CHEDDAR CHEESE + BEER SOUP

Serving Size: 4 large entrée size bowls of soup, 8 cups of soup

1/2 cup of chopped onions

1/4 cup of chopped celery

2 tablespoons of chopped garlic

6 cups of chicken stock

1/2 cup of roux

4 oz of beer

3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 tablespoon of dry mustard

4 oz of cream

1/2 tablespoon of Worcestershire

1/2 tablespoon of hot sauce

To build the base for this soup, chop 1/2 cup of onions, 1/4 cup of celery and 2 tablespoons of garlic. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot and add the onions and celery until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic a few minutes after the onions and celery because it cooks quickly and you don’t want it to burn.

When the onions are translucent add 6 cups of Chicken Stock and bring to a simmer (there should be small bubbles just breaking the surface, DO NOT BOIL).

In a small sauce pan, make a roux. The classic ratio for roux is 60% flour to 40% fat. For the “fat” the classic go to is butter. The roux should be smooth and glossy. If it is greasy you need more flour and if it is too dry you need more butter. When the roux looks like wet sand, add it to the stock pot with the chicken stock, onions, celery and garlic and whisk until the soup begins to thicken. When adding a roux to the chicken stock mixture, you create a classic Velouté, which is the base for many professional sauces and soups. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally.

After simmering for 30 minutes, the soup should be thick and creamy. Even at this point it tastes delicious. One thing you should get in the habit of is always tasting your dish as it develops. Taste every time you season or add something new, that way you can control the flavor and get the end result you are looking for. When you have reached the desired seasoning, strain the soup in a fine mesh strainer and discard the onions, celery and garlic left behind.

Return the soup to the stock pot and continue to heat on a low simmer, DO NOT BOIL. Add 4 oz of beer (preferably lager or ale), I used Blue Moon’s Carmel Spiced Apple Ale because it was perfectly spiced for a cold October night. Also I love cheese and apples it is such a great pairing of sweet and salty. Whisk in the beer and 3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese until melted.

Blend 1/2 tablespoon of dry mustard with water to create a paste. If you don’t add the water and add the mustard directly into the soup it will get clumpy. Add the mustard paste to the soup and whisk.

Add 4 oz of cream to the soup and whisk.

Season with 1/2 tablespoon of Worcestershire and 1/2 tablespoon of hot sauce. And that’s it! Mix the soup well and ladle into a bowl or a bread bowl. I used Dark Rye Bread Bowls because one can never go wrong with bread to dip in your cheesy beer soup. If you don’t make a bread bowl you could make croutons to garnish the soup. For those of you that like bacon (who doesn’t like bacon), it would also make a GREAT garnish on top of the soup.

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