Beer Cheese Soup. Official Soup of the State of Wisconsin!
Or at least it should be. Let’s start a write-in campaign.
This is good stuff. Quick and easy too.
In keeping with my Wisconsin theme, I used a bottle of Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown Ale…
but any nice, mild flavored brown beer should do the trick.
Here’s what you need:
Leeks, Carrots, Celery, Butter, Flour, Vegetable Stock, Dijon Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Brown Ale, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Cayenne Pepper, Salt & Pepper.
Chop up 2 carrots and 1 stalk of celery into nice, small pieces.
Instead of onions, we’re going with the milder flavor of leeks. We need only the white and light green parts so cut off the root and the tough dark green ends.
Remember that leeks are often very muddy even on the inside. Cut them in half and clean them under running water, gently separating the layers, to remove any grit and dirt.
Slice 2 cleaned leeks into small half round pieces.
Melt 1/2 stick of butter (4 Tablespoons) in a large soup pot.
When the butter is lightly foamy, add the chopped veggies and cook until tender but not browned – about 5 minutes.
Where there is beer, there should be mustard. (And maybe soft, warm pretzels.) Add 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard to the pot.
Stir 1/2 cup of flour into the vegetables to make a roux or thickener for the soup.
Cook the flour into the vegetables, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until it has all been incorporated. It will be quite thick and pasty.
Add 4 cups (2 cans) of vegetable stock and stir to remove any lumps. Hey, this is a vegetarian recipe!
Pour in 1 (12 ounce) bottle of Leinie’s or your brew of choice.
Once the soup has come to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. This will give the veggies time to absorb all of the flavors from the beer and stock.
Grate 8 ounces (about 2 cups) of sharp cheddar cheese.
If you grate your own rather than buying pre-grated cheese in a bag, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also get better tasting cheese.
Once the soup has simmered, turn the heat OFF or down to the lowest setting and add the grated cheese. The heat from the soup will melt the cheese. It is important that once you add the cheese, the soup not boil otherwise it will separate and become stringy.
Season the soup with 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your personal preference.
Serve with some nice crusty bread. You’ll want that for sopping up every last drop from the bottom of the bowl.
Garnish with a little extra cheese and some parsley if you’re feeling fancy.
Cheese Head Hats Optional.
Here’s the recipe: Adapted from Williams Sonoma