Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beer Cheese Soup

Aka comfort food in a bowl. When I lived in Austin, I dated a guy from Michigan and he introduced me to the wonderful concept of beer cheese soup. Think of it as cheese fondue, except with a beer base instead of wine and best served in a bread bowl with extra bread for dunking. At the time I was first introduced to this soup, I didn't really cook (unless you count browning ground beef and adding hamburger helper mix ... scary, no?), so I never picked up the recipe. Occasionally, over the years I've tried to replicate it, but I get distracted by fancier recipes that have a mirepoix or something else. This week while at work, I saw a recipe posted by a Dutch blogger that included bacon, corn, and onion. It was then that I decided I needed to go back and make the original with no extras, just a smooth and creamy soup. Be warned, this is not a healthy meal, but it is comforting and it does have calcium! It's also quick and easy (once you get done grating all that cheese). The better the cheese the better the soup, so I used some aged cheddar.

One year ago: Another cheesy soup, Cauliflower and Camembert Soup

Beer Cheese Soup (from Sargento)

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups milk
1 cup beer (I generally use a blonde/pilsner)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups (225g) shredded cheddar cheese
fresh baguette or bread bowls

1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir in flour until smooth; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Stir in milk, beer, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper.
4. Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. (The soup should thicken up quite a bit.)
5. Stir in cheese until melted. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with bread.

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