Beer Cheese Soup is the best comforting, fall soup to make. This recipe does take a little time, as you develop the flavors by reducing your stock, beer and mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot mixture), but it's not hard and the end results are spectacular!
Course: Soups & Stews
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: best beer cheese soup, cheese soup, fall soups, German Beer Soup, oktoberfest recipes
4tablespoonsButterreplace with olive oil or a vegetable oil
1small onionchopped (sweet onion, yellow or white onion or ½ large onion)
2large carrotspeeled and chopped
1/4cupfloursubstitute GF all purpose flour
3-4cupsChicken or Veggie Stock or Brothwatch sodium content on the broths
1 12ouncecan or bottle of beer*replace with non-alcoholic beer, GF beer or replace with additional water or broth
8ozsharp cheddar cheesegrated (I used white cheddar)
8ozColby Jack Cheesegrated (try other cheeses too, smoked gouda, smoked cheddar)
1cupHalf-and-Halfmay substitute with milk or even water
1heaping teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2-2teaspoonsWorcestershire SauceI used 1 ½ tsp, helps if soup gets bitter
PepperSalt to taste, I did not use any salt as the cheese and broths were salty enough.
4strips baconcooked and crumbled (omit if vegetarian)
In a 4 qt (or larger, so you don't make a mess), over medium heat, melt butter (or heat oil), adding chopped onion, celery, and carrots; cooking until soft and slightly browned, it'll take 7-8 minutes, during the last minute add the garlic.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and "cook" stirring constantly about 2 minutes, mixture should be smooth and browned slightly.
Pour in chicken stock, whisking constantly, then pour in beer, whisking to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 40-45 minutes until thick, dark brown and reduced. Stir occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, reserving cooked veggies.
Pour beer mixture into the same pot and bring to simmer over low heat. Plop in cream cheese and whisk until smooth and combined. Next toss in shredded cheddar and Colby cheese, about ⅓ cup at a time, a small handful is a good guide. Whisking until melted after each addition. Stir in half-and-half, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, heat until just starting to simmer.
To finish, stir in reserved cooked vegetables, check seasonings; add salt (careful, taste first) and pepper to taste. Garnish with a little more shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, if desired.
Best Beers | A basic Wheat beer, lager or even a porter, use your favorite beer, my only caution in using IPA's as they can be too hoppy, causing bitterness in the soup. Vegetarian? Omit the bacon, substitute veggie broth for chicken broth. Gluten Free? Substitute beer for a gluten free beer or substitute with chicken or even beef broth. Swap the flour out for a good 1-to-1 GF All Purpose Flour. How to Fix Bitter Soup | The simplest way is to add something a little vinegar-y, which is why this has Worcestershire sauce in it, in fact I increased the amount from the original recipe. You could also try a little soy sauce or even a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. The best way to avoid bitter soup is avoid using a hoppy, Pale Ale style beer. Stick with a clean Belgian ale if you are worried about bitterness, or a simple Oktoberfest style ale or lager. How to Fix Salty Soup | The easiest solution is dilute it! Add more water or stock, just make sure the stock is not super salty! I've also heard adding a half a potato works to soak up some of the salt, but I've never tried that personally. Freeze Cheese Soup | Cool completely before freezing, you may want to freeze in individual sized microwavable containers. Lasts up to 3 months in the freezer. Best Way to Reheat Cheese Soups
Add a little water and then heating on low heat (50% for 1 minute at a time) in the microwave; stirring in between. It did not separate at all.
Additionally, reheat your desired portion on the stovetop over very low heat, stirring and whisking in a little water or stock.
If you do get separation, try adding a bit of starch or even cream to the mixture and whisk well to combine. Or add a touch more of an acid, such as apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce or a little bit of lemon. start with a teaspoon at a time, you don't want to alter the taste.
Separated or curdled cheese soup, may not look pretty, but safe to eat!
A LIGHTER BEER CHEESE SOUP
use olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter
omit the flour, though you could get separation in the cheese mixture
you could omit the beer, try a lite beer
omit the cream cheese
replace the half-and-half with milk of choice, water or a lite chicken or vegetable broth