Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup Featuring Leinenkugel Beer

I never turn down a challenge, so when my step-daughter came to me and said that a local restaurant had the "best" beer cheese soup, you know that I was ready for a soup-smackdown.  No one cooks better than momma.  No one.

First, I had to do my research.  I must start out by saying I'm not a beer drinker.  I know, I know... I live in Wisconsin!! What the heck is wrong with me?  I've been told I'm genetically flawed.  I swear I'm not the only one from Wisconsin that doesn't like beer, but I digress.... back to the research.  I asked my lovely step-daughter a million questions about this soup.
  • what do you like about it?
  • are there "chunks" of veggies or meat in it?
  • what kind of cheese do you think is in it?
  • what kind of beer do they use?
The only thing she knew was that it had Jack Daniels beer in it.  Okay, folks-- I know I'm not a beer drinker, but I'm pretty sure that Jack Daniels is not a beer.  It quickly became clear that she was not going to be a reliable source of recipe data.  So, I just thought that I'd do a bunch of my own reading and just give it a try.  The one thing that I knew I wanted to do was feature a Wisconsin made beer.  We've also enjoyed visiting the Leine Lodge and taking their tour, so I gave their dark lager a whirl.  It was the perfect choice for my soup.

Despite hating the taste of beer, I must admit that I was pleasantly pleased with the outcome!  The bitterness of the beer really complimented the creamy cheese flavors.  What was even better is that my step-daughter now admits that I make the "best" beer cheese soup.  Victory is mine!




Ingredients
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 stalk of celery, shredded
  • 2 medium onions, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 12 oz Leinenkugel Creamy Dark beer (or another Lager)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups half and half

Directions

In a large saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and fry the carrots, celery and onions until they are soft and the onion is clear.  Add the flour directly to the saucepan and continue to heat for an additional 3-4 minutes stirring constantly with a whisk to avoid burning the vegetables and flour.  Add the beer and stir.  Immediately add the chicken broth, paprika, mustard powder, and worcestershire sauce.  Stir until combined.  Slowly add the cheese, stirring it in the mixture with the whisk until it is melted.  Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the bottom doesn't burn.  Add the half and half and stir until combined.  Remove from heat and serve.  As you are serving, top individual portions with popcorn and a dash or two of tabasco sauce.


                   

4 comments:

  1. Oh, I LOOOOVE that you used popcorn as a garnish- I'm SO doing that next time. And my brief stint of living in Milwaukee forever converted me to a Leinie's fan, so double perfect. This sounds seriously delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Needs something I can't quite put my finger on. I transferred the whole thing to the crock pot on low while I think about it. Probably bacon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm....was it a taste or more of a texture thing? Bacon definitely wouldn't hurt. And what type of beer did you use? I found that the beer definitely makes a difference!

      Delete
  3. I'll have to try this! I always loved Titletown's (in Green Bay) but now they only offer it once a week--usually not when I'm passing through.

    ReplyDelete