Silky, creamy perfection: Beer cheese soup is cold weather favorite
The first time I attempted beer cheese soup, I had never tasted it before, but I just knew I was going to love it. I mean, it's booze and cheddar in slurpable form! Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out like I expected. I recall it being thick, grainy and not at all good. In fact, my fiancÚ later told me he had actually thought it was a dip.
Needless to say, I came into this next batch with a mission: to create the beer cheese soup of my always-hungry dreams. My goal was a rich, velvety soup jam-packed with cheddar flavor and soft undertones of a smooth and mellow lager. Was I asking too much? I don't think so.
I had an Aha! moment when I remembered my favorite homemade ice cream (from the fabulous "Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home" cookbook), which uses cream cheese in place of eggs. I applied that same theory to my beer cheese recipe, and I'm so glad I did. The cream cheese kept my soup soft and creamy, with no stringy blobs of cheddar in sight!
This version is warm and hearty, perfect.
BEER CHEESE SOUP
Stir in the flour and cook until thick and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding vegetables.
Return stock mixture back to the Dutch oven and return to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Add the beer, followed by the cream cheese and handfuls of cheddar, whisking constantly until the cream cheese is smooth and the cheddar is melted. Make sure the mixture never comes to a boil; boiling will cause the cheese to separate.
Stir in the milk, Dijon and Worcestershire sauce and bring back to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted pretzel bread and additional shredded cheese, if desired.
To make the soup in advance, cook through the steps making the vegetables, roux and stock. Strain the vegetables out and refrigerate. When ready to finish, bring to a simmer and continue adding the beer and cheese, followed by the remaining steps.
I used Yuengling Traditional Lager, but a red lager like Killian's or even Bass Ale would also work well.
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Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor for free? Let us know by clicking here.
(Nealey Dozier is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to: email@example.com.)