Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup

We were planning on the Packers being in the Super Bowl when we made our menu, yeah, Lee was THAT excited about cooking on Super Bowl day.  So what is more Wisconsin than beer cheese soup? I mean, that's Wisconsin in a bowl!  
I've long been a beer cheese soup aficionado and the last time we tried it at home, it had the consistency of ball park nacho cheese, not cool.  


This one came out so much better! There was lots of crunchy veggies in it and lots of tasty, tasty bacon.  On top of that, the broth was a lot thinner and easier to eat.  Even the beer taste was nice and mild, not like I was eating cheese and drinking beer, which is something I like doing, but not when I'm supposed to be eating soup. 
My mom was over and she was impressed too, she was really surprised about the bacon.   Whenever I mention one of Lee's bacon dishes, she rolls her eyes, but she said she wasn't overwhelmed and actually enjoyed it! We might have a convert folks.

Here's what you need:
In a large dutch oven or pot fry bacon and drain bacon to a paper towel, keeping bacon fat in pan.
Add your onion, carrots, jalapenos, garlic and thyme to the pot, saute until soft, about 8 minutes.
Add half of the beer and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and return to a simmer.  In a small skillet, melt the butter on medium high heat and whisk in the flour. Whisk for about 5 minutes until mixture turns light brown. Add this mixture slowly into your soup whisking as you go, cooking for about 8 minutes or until your soup turns to a thicker consistency. 
Pour in heavy cream, cheese, and the rest of the beer, stirring for about 8 minutes until thick and creamy.
Add cooked bacon and season with salt and pepper. Serve Immediately.

I garnished with more bacon, green onions and our homemade pretzel sticks.
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 large jalapeño, ribbed, seeded and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One 12-ounce bottle brown or pale ale
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 12-ounce package of thick-cut bacon, diced
  • About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  • Additional sliced jalapeño, bacon, thyme, and/or diced tomato, to garnish
  1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes.
  2. Drain bacon to a paper towel, keeping bacon fat in pan.
  3. Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the rendered fat in the saucepan.
  4. Cook over moderate heat, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.
  5.  Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes.
  6. Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and return to a simmer.
  7. In a small skillet, melt the butter.
  8. Whisk in the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  9. Whisk the roux into the soup until combined, and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.
  10. Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheeses and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  11. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


  1. Awesome photos, easy to follow directions, I have my Saturday dinner recipe! Thanks, Margy and Lee!

  2. This soup looks so delicious! I adore anything with bacon in, and cheese too :-)

  3. @Ari- it will make enough for Sunday lunch too, I forgot to mention that it was even better the next day!
    @Paula- the chewy bacon in the soup and the crunchy bacon on top made it doubly baconlicious!

  4. This looks amazing! I just got a Dutch Oven at Xmas and I have been looking for good eats to cook in it. This soup will go perfect with the 1 day of cold weather we have here in Tucson. Do you know of any good sites to find more great Dutch Oven recipes?