Beer Cheese Soup


Kiwi helps stir to melt the cheese

We do a soup swap. Everyone brings soup; we eat the soup; the leftovers go home with people. It’s great. I received some delicious turkey noodle soup from the last soup swap that Kidney Bean is is love with.

Somehow, I decided that making a beer cheese soup was a good idea. While I do love my beer cheese, it isn’t really a meal in a bowl. So, I probably failed my neighbors on this one. To make it a full meal, you’d probably want to add larger pieces of vegetables, potatoes, maybe a few kielbasa sausage coins to the mix. Then it would be a meal deserving of a soup swap. Sorry, neighbors.

Your soup will look like a murky brown liquid from the beer. (I used Summit ESB in our soup.) It’s patiently waiting for you to add all the creamy, cheesy goodness.

I used Emeril’s Cheese and Beer Soup with Spicy Popcorn Garnish as a guide and adjusted a few things to better suit my tastes. Emeril suggested garnishing with his spicy popcorn, which I thought was a great idea.

Beer, cheese, popcorn. Makes sense. However, do not stick the popcorn in the soup or you will end up with a pile of mush. Your tasty popcorn with shrink and shrivel.

It is very sad to see shriveled popcorn. Just eat it on the side.

Beer Cheese Soup

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped parsnip
5 cloves minced garlic
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups chicken stock
2 12-ounce bottles amber beer
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 ½ cups heavy cream
5 cups grated Cheddar, best quality possible
1 ½ cups crumbled Gorgonzola
Chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil over low heat in a large pot, add vegetables. Cook vegetables for 10 minutes until soft, covered and stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add flour slowly, stirring after each ¼ cup to remove any lumps. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Using a whisk, add chicken stock and beer, bay leaves, cayenne pepper and cracked pepper.

Slowly bring to a boil, watching carefully. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, one hour. Soup may boil over as it gets hot. Stir in heavy cream. Slowly stir in cheese, allowing time in between additions for soup to come back up to temperature. Add salt and additional pepper to taste. Top with fresh parsley.

For a more substantial soup:
Use 4 large baking potatoes in place of parsnips and add 2 cups precooked, sliced kielbasa 10 minutes before adding cream.

Watch tomorrow to see how we turn leftover beer cheese soup into cheesy rice.

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