Best-Ever Beer Cheese Soup

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
Prep:
55 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 to 1 1/2 large carrots, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup small-diced piquillo peppers, or 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium store-bought or homemade
  • One 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably a mild-flavored blond or pale ale
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 12 ounces aged yellow cheddar (aged at least 2 years), grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Mustard oil or extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
  • Fresh goat cheese, for garnish
  • Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, peppers and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until well incorporated, about 5 minutes more.

  • Add the chicken stock, beer and half-and-half and cook, whisking often, at a very slow simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

  • Add the cheddar to the soup by the handful, whisking each batch until smooth. Add the Worcestershire, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, mustard and lemon juice, and stir to combine.

  • Puree the soup in batches in a blender (holding a thick towel over the lid to prevent overflow) until very smooth.

  • Just before serving, reheat the soup until steaming and taste for seasoning, adding salt as necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each bowl with a swirl of mustard oil, a dollop of goat cheese and a sprinkle of thyme.

Blending Hot Liquids: When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth.


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