I’ve been dying to make beer cheese soup this year, and I’m SO glad it finally happened! Especially because I’ve added a twist to this favorite comfort food, and made it into a spicy white cheddar beer cheese soup. 🙂
When I lived in Chicago, I worked at a seriously amazing restaurant in the Fulton River District. This place was ALWAYS busy, and I spent the majority of my days and nights there. My job was to manage lunch shifts AND run each of our private events day in and day out. Needless to say, I didn’t have the opportunity to eat at many places besides my place of work. The menu was definitely fantastic, but as most things go, it tended to get a little repetitive after two meals a day … six days a week.
Whenever the kitchen decided to prepare a soup of the day, it was like the clouds parted and the angels sang. Soup was something DIFFERENT from the typical menu, and it was usually phenomenal.
This particular beer cheese soup recipe was my favorite one that ever came out of that kitchen. Ever. There were a few girls that worked in the event sales department that always ate lunch with me in one of our private dining areas. We all ordered soup of the day on this particular afternoon, and it was over. We were forever spoiled on this beer cheese soup. After days of relentlessly hounding the sous chef for his recipe, he finally texted it to all of us in a group text.
That was two years ago, and I STILL have that message saved on my phone. You see, I have priorities, and one of those was to make this soup for myself someday. Talk about finally achieving some life goals you’ve set out for yourself. Feels good to check that one off the list.
This is literally the exact recipe he texted us, except for the jalapeño and carrots that I added. Also, he put the peppercorns, bay leaf, caraway and thyme into a sachet rather than tossing it all into the soup. I do not have a cheesecloth on hand to make a sachet, so I just added those ingredients directly into my soup. Note : a “sachet” is a French term that is used to describe a small cloth sack filled with herbs / potpourri / aromatics. Typically used for recipes, or tea. 🙂
This spicy white cheddar beer cheese soup is rich, it’s decadent, and it leaves you wanting more. Truly. I highly recommend having a bright, crisp salad with this rich and savory soup. It’ll be the perfect combination for any rainy day, or really, just any day. 🙂
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1/3 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 1 cup white onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of light beer (a light lager is preferable)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 Tbsp. black peppercorns, whole
- 1/2 Tbsp. caraway seeds (toasted if possible)
- small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup half and half, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups of white cheddar cheese, shredded (adjust this to your liking!)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 (large) or 4 (small) bread bowls
- chives and chopped bacon, for garnish
- In a deep pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add celery, carrot, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook until veggies become very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add flour, and stir continuously to avoid browning. Let the veggies and flour cook for a few minutes, as this will alleviate the "flour" taste from occurring in the soup. The consistency of the veggies and flour together should feel similar to a vegetable "paste" as you stir it.
- Slowly add the beer, while still stirring continuously. Then, slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Add the bay leaf, black peppercorns, caraway seeds, and fresh thyme.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the room temperature milk and half and half, then stir to blend everything together, and bring to a quick boil. As soon as the soup starts to boil, immediately turn the heat back down to a simmer, and allow it to simmer for another ten minutes.
- Whisk in cheese, and check to be sure consistency is to your liking. Add more stock if it seems too thick.
- Strain entire contents into another large pot, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in a bread bowls, garnish as you please, and enjoy!
- This will make two big bowls of soup, or four smaller ones - just as a note! 🙂