beer cheese soup

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Brrr!  In light of the wintry temperatures we’re experiencing tonight, I want to share another recipe for a hearty, warming soup.  For the beer, feel free to experiment with different kinds – that being said, we generally use a light beer or ale, so you get just enough beer taste.  And if you feel inclined to make them, the sourdough croutons add a nice crunch (the recipe for croutons can be found at the bottom of the page, and makes more than enough to use in as a garnish; use the extra croutons in stuffing or freeze and use handfuls in soup all winter).

Beer Cheese Soup

Yields about 6 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (we used New Glarus Spotted Cow)
3 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

garnishes (optional)

sourdough “croutons” – see note below*
fresh chives, chopped
bacon crumbles

Method

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in dutch oven or large pot.  Add onion and saute about 4 to 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for about 1 more minute.
  2. Add beer and chicken stock to pot, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer soup for about 20 minutes.
  3. Ladle soup mixture into a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth (in batches if needed).
  4. Return soup to pot/dutch oven, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for around 10 minutes.
  5. Whisk together 1 cup of milk and flour until smooth (I whisk the mixture in the measuring cup).  Stir flour mixture into soup, along with remaining milk, salt, and pepper.  Simmer on low heat until thickened, stirring frequently to ensure that the mixture doesn’t burn.
  6. Remove soup from heat, stir in cheddar cheese until smooth.  Serve with optional garnishes of your choice.

*Note:  For sourdough croutons, take loaf of sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch slices, then cut those into 1-inch cubes, removing most of the crust (about 8 cups of cubes). In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Toss cubes in oil mixture, spread on baking sheet, and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for around 10 minutes (or until golden brown – check every 5 minutes or so).

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