This time of year I am a huge fan of soup, in fact, I could eat it every night for dinner and be happy. This love of soup is not shared by the Mr who tends to think of soup as an appetizer. Typically when I make soup I usually have to serve it with a sandwich or salad so the other person in this house actually thinks he has had a meal. I think I have found one soup though that both of us can agree on.
Last week in Omaha we ate at one of our favorite locations, The Upstream Brewery. They serve a great Smoked Gouda and Beer soup that I have ordered MANY times. On this particular occasion the soup had the great same taste but was very thick, almost gravy-like. It made me think how much more I would enjoy a beer cheese soup if it were not so calorie-laden and had a lighter feel. I decided to see if I could create something like that.
I searched pinterest, food network, and all the other sites where I like to look up recipes. There are MANY versions of beer soup available. I finally decided to use this version from Savour the Senses as inspiration.
The first thing I did was create a classic mirepoix.
Say what, you ask??? Mirepoix is just a combination of onion, carrots and celery used to season dishes. I learned about mirepoix from the cookbook “Cooking at Home” from the Culinary Institute of America. I start most of my soup recipes this way. Most of all I just love saying the word “mirpoix” it makes me feel so culinary!!
Sorry I digressed a little there, back to the soup. Heat 1 tablespoon of light butter and saute the vegetable mixture until soft. Add garlic and flour to the vegetable mixture to create a paste (or a roux as we culinary types say ). Add beer, worcestershire sauce, chicken broth and milk until the mixture comes to a boil. I used Shock-Top Pumpkin Wheat beer just because we had it on hand. The soup will draw its flavor from the type of beer that is used so experimenting with several versions could be fun. Simmer for 10-15 additional minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree with an immersion blender or blend in a blender.
Return the pot to a medium low heat and slowly add the cheese, stirring until melted.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. I also added some green onions and croutons as a garnish before serving.
Amazingly, I think I got this one right….very light texture but still the strong beer soup taste I love. Here is the exact recipe I used.
Light Cheddar Ale Soup
1 Tablespoon light butter
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup beer
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup skim milk
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional, minced green onion, bacon and croutons for serving
Saute onion, carrots and celery in 1 T butter until soft. Add the garlic and flour, stir until combined. Add the beer slowly, mixing to combine. Stir in the worcestershire sauce, the chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the mixture using an immersion blender. This can be done in a blender also. Return the pot to a medium heat and slowly add the cheese while stirring. Do not allow soup to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Add green onions and/or croutons as garnish. Makes 6 1 cup servings. 7 Weight Watchers points per serving.
Let me know if you try it!