Looking for the perfect fall dish to make when the nights turn chilly? Our beer cheese soup is delightfully creamy, smoky, and packed with cheese. It tastes so good, that you'll be asking for seconds.
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The ingredients for our beer cheese soup are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about some of the key ingredients.
- Beer: We used 12 ounces of black and tan beer for 9 cups of beer cheese soup.
- Dairy: We used grated extra sharp cheddar, grated smoked Gouda, and whole milk, but you could substitute with American, Gruyere, pepper jack, or young cheddar.
- Meat: We used smoked bacon that was cut into half-inch pieces for garnish. If you want another meat, try brats or andouille sausage.
- Flour: We used one-half cup of all-purpose flour to make the roux. If you need this gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free flour.
- Spices: We used salt and white pepper but you could also use smoked paprika and ground mustard seed.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for our beer cheese soup. Grate the cheddar and smoked Gouda on a box grater. Chop up the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, then measure out the spices and the chicken broth.
- Melt the four tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, celery, and carrots for roughly 7 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Sprinkle the flour over the cooked vegetables (called the mirepoix).
To make the roux, use a wooden turner to mix the flour in with the mirepoix. Cook the flour for two minutes, stirring constantly, to get the raw taste out of it.
3. Pour in the beer to deglaze the bottom of the Dutch oven, and use the wooden turner to scrape the brown bits (fond) off the bottom. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes to help further soften the mirepoix.
While it is simmering, cook the bacon. Blot off any excess grease with a paper towel. Allow to cool and cut into one-half inch pieces. Set aside to use as a garnish.
4. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, salt, and white pepper.
5. Pour in the chicken stock and mix well with a large wooden spoon.
Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Before you puree it in a blender, remove the Dutch oven from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
6. Carefully ladle the hot liquid into the blender, 2 cups at a time. Blend in small batches, as you don't want it to overflow when it's pureeing.
As an extra safety precaution, remove the circular plastic from the lid to allow the steam to escape. Place the lid on the blender and cover it with an old kitchen towel. Pour the pureed mixture into a large bowl.
7. Once all of it has been pureed, pour it back into the Dutch oven, then whisk in the whole milk.
8. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat. Toss the grated cheese with a little bit of cornstarch to prevent clumping then add the extra sharp cheddar in small batches. Whisk it in to ensure a smooth texture.
Repeat the same procedure for the smoked Gouda.
9. Stir in the hot sauce and more white pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
10. Garnish with bacon pieces, fresh chives, and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with our soft German pretzel rolls.
It isn't a good idea to freeze this recipe because it has dairy in it. Once it is thawed and reheated, you'll find the texture will be quite different and not so creamy.
This creamy dish has a predominantly cheesy flavor with smoky hints from the bacon and smoked Gouda, and a nice zesty zing from the hot sauce, dijon mustard, and white pepper. The beer flavor is not overwhelming but gives it a delicious umami flavor making it more satisfying and delicious.
The most common cause of curdles in your beer cheese soup is due to overheating the cheese. To prevent this from happening we recommend removing the pot from the heat before slowly stirring in the cheese.
Yes and no. There is beer in the list of ingredients. However, when a recipe, such as ours, contains only 12 ounces of beer or less in an 8-cup pot of soup, and the beer is brought to a boil, then simmered the alcohol cooks off. Following these two steps reduces the alcohol content, thus making the final product safe for children and pregnant women to eat.
- Want a German touch? Serve it with soft large pretzels or homemade pretzel buns. They are wonderful to dunk into this recipe, and your guests will rave about it!
- Looking for serving suggestions? Serve with crusty bread or garlic toast.
- Want other garnishes? Try popcorn, spicy Chex mix, fresh thyme, or goat cheese.
- Make ahead: For best results, cook the recipe but do not add any of the dairy products yet and let it cool completely before storing it. Then finish the recipe the day you plan to serve it by completing steps 7-9.
- Leftovers: After cooling completely, store it in an airtight container, and place it in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
- Reheat: It's best to reheat beer cheese soup in a saucepan over medium heat until it's to your liking. Be sure to take caution not to heat it so much that it boils, or it will separate.
- Want it spicy? Try adding fresh jalapeños or poblanos, or add red pepper flakes.
- Want to impress your guests? Serve it in individual bread bowls.
- Want to make it more creamy? Add some cream cheese.
- Want other vegetables? Try a red bell pepper, potatoes, broccoli, or cauliflower.
- Want other spices? Try smoked paprika or ground mustard seed.
- Want other cheeses? Try American, Gruyère, pepper jack, or young cheddar.
- Don't want bacon? Try brats, ham, kielbasa, or andouille sausage.
- Don't boil it after adding the cheese, as this will make it separate. For best results add the cheeses after the sauce is thickened and removed from the heat.
- Best flavor and consistency. Use 100% real cheese, not processed, and make sure your dairy products contain a certain fat content. Skim and low-fat options aren't a good choice here.
- Prevent clumping of your cheeses. Toss the freshly grated cheese with cornstarch and add it to the pot in small increments, stir until melted, and keep repeating until all of it is added.
- Room temperature cheese will melt better.
- Avoid undercooking the roux (butter/flour mixture) as it will make the soup grainy.
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Beer Cheese Soup
For the Soup
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
- ¾ cup carrots, chopped
- ¾ cup celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- ½ cup flour
- 12 ounces black and tan beer, such as Yuengling
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ¼ cups extra sharp cheddar, grated
- 2 cups smoked Gouda, grated
- 1 teaspoon white pepper, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon hot sauce
For the Garnish
- 5 slices smoked bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sour cream, optional
- 8 soft pretzel buns for dipping, optional
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium high heat. Saute the carrots, celery, and onion until soft and lightly browned, roughly 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly.
- Gradually sprinkle the flour on the veggies, stirring constantly over medium heat, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the beer and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes to soften the mirepoix.
- While it is simmering, cook the bacon and blot off the excess grease. Allow to cool, then cut into ½ inch pieces. Set aside for the garnish.
- Stir in the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Carefully pour the hot liquid, about 2 cups at a time, into a blender. Cover with lid, but leave the center hole open to let steam escape. As a safety precaution, cover the lid with an old towel and puree. Be careful with hot soup. Pour the pureed soup back into the Dutch oven, then repeat with the remaining soup.
- Turn the heat to medium, and gradually whisk in the whole milk. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so it can thicken a little.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the heat. Toss the freshly grated cheese with a little bit of cornstarch to prevent clumping. Gradually stir in the cheese until the cheese is melted and the soup is smooth. Add hot sauce and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Garnish with the bacon pieces, chives, and a dollop of sour cream. Serve steaming hot or while it's still warm with our soft German pretzel buns.
- Boiling the soup after adding the cheese will make the soup separate. For best results, add the cheese after the sauce is thickened and removed from the heat.
- Use 100% real cheese, not processed, and make sure your cheese and milk contain a certain fat content. Skim and low-fat options aren't a good choice here.
- Toss the freshly grated cheese with cornstarch and add the cheese in small increments, stir until melted, and keep repeating until all of it is added.
- Room temperature cheese melts better.
- Avoid undercooking the roux (butter/flour mixture) as it will make the soup grainy.
This recipe post was originally posted on August 23, 2019.