Beer and cheese soup is a popular and comforting food in many parts of the world especially during the winter months so let’s learn how to make beer cheese soup.
It is a variation of the beer soup that has medieval roots. In medieval Europe, beer soup was commonly served during breakfast and usually poured over bread.
In more contemporary times, beer soup has become synonymous with weeknight meals.
It’s also a great appetizer.
I know a lot of guys who love to watch a game of football while sharing beer cheese soup.
What is beer cheese soup?
Unlike French Onion soup, there’s no written record on how beer cheese soup originated.
What I know is that this is a very popular appetizer and dish in Midwest region particularly in Kentucky and Wisconsin.
In fact, a friend who is from Milwaukee says beer cheese soup is a fixture at every pub and restaurant in the city.
That’s not really a shocking because Wisconsin is popular for the two main ingredients of this soup — beer and cheese.
Of course, the beer cheese soup in Wisconsin is a lot different from what the medieval people enjoyed back in the day.
You can now see and enjoy beer soup flavored with spices.
In Wisconsin, I was told that beer cheese soup is often served with popcorn.
I’m unsure why they do that, but I was told that one theory is that popcorn is often served free in pubs and bars.
So patrons usually sprinkle popcorn on their beer cheese soup.
It’s really up to you what you would use as a topping for your beer cheese soup.
What I can assure you is that this soup is quite easy to prepare.
The recipe I am sharing below is a good proof.
It should take you about an hour to prepare it. It makes six servings.
Main Ingredients of Beer Cheese Soup
Before I go to the recipe, let me discuss briefly the three main ingredients of beer cheese soup— beer, cheese and chicken stock.
Obviously, you’ll need beer in making beer cheese soup.
However, don’t crack open a can of light beer because it does not have the flavor to support this kind of soup.
Sure, a can of light beer is very refreshing on a hot summer day, but it isn’t ideal for this soup.
You’d want to get a pale ale for this soup as it can add a strong flavor to your soup.
Dark beer is also a good choice, but it can cause the soup to have a very dark color no thanks to the deeply roasted malts.
Aside from the beer, the other main building block of this soup is cheese.
Cheddar cheese is your best bet for this soup because it has a tangy flavor that can really make this soup delicious.
I know some people who use Swiss cheese for this kind of soup, though.
Finally, you can make your own chicken stock or simply opt for purchased chicken broth for this soup. You can even use vegetable stock if you like to make this dish vegetarian-friendly.
Salted butter, one stick or eight tablespoons
Diced carrots, about ¾ cup
Diced piquillo peppers, ¾ cup or diced large bell pepper
All-purpose flour, ¾ cup
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Beer, one 12-ounce bottle (pale ale or mild-flavored variety)
Chicken stock, 4 cups (homemade or store-bought)
Half-and-half, 1 ½ cups
Aged yellow cheddar, 12 ounces, grated
Worcestershire sauce, half tablespoon
Grated nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon
Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons
Fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
Goat cheese for garnish
Fresh thyme leaves for garnish
Step by Step Guide:
1. Melt the butter first in a large pot placed over medium heat. Add the pepper, carrots and half teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the flour then continue cooking for 5 minutes until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
2. Add the beer, chicken stock, and half-and-half. Lower the heat then cook the soup at a very low simmer for 15 minutes. Whisk the ingredients often.
3. Add cheddar cheese to the soup. Whisk each batch until very smooth. Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground black pepper, mustard, nutmeg and lemon juice. Stir well to combine.
4. Puree the soup in a blender. (Choosing a right personal blender can help your cooking easier). Due to the amount of the soup, you will likely have to do this in batches. Don’t forget to hold a thick towel over the lid to avoid overflowing.
5. Reheat the soup before serving. You can add salt as you deem necessary.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls. You can then garnish each bowl with a dollop of goat cheese, a swirl or mustard soup, and some fresh thyme leaves.
Beer cheese soup should be a hit when it is cold outside. It is very creamy, smooth and pleasantly flavored soup that you and your loved ones will enjoy.
So what are you waiting for?
Try this recipe at home now!