Beer and Cheese? Yes, Please!
Dark beer and bone broth add rich, earthy flavors to this ultra-satisfying, velvety smooth cheese soup.
When I lived in western North Carolina, I worked for a brewery part-time. This was almost 10 years ago, when the brewery industry was just taking off. We attended many festivals and music events where we would have a booth selling our beer. I was at such a beer event in Asheville when I took a few minutes to step away from our booth and grab something to eat from another vendor. I was led by my nose to a booth offering beer cheese soup.
You could smell the melty cheese and beer as it wafted through the air. The vendor sold the soup in little bitty bread bowls with a plastic spoon. Maybe it was the cool, crisp air blowing through the mountains or the altitude, but it was the best soup I had ever tasted. I asked the vendor what was in there that made it so extra delicious, and he said that bone broth was the secret ingredient.
I went back home and immediately tried to mimic this recipe. In all the versions that I found, the recipe said to use beef or chicken stock, but I knew I wanted to use bone broth.
Bone broth has become very popular recently, especially among those who are health conscious. Bone broth provides vitamin A, vitamin K2, minerals like zinc, iron, boron, manganese and selenium as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. There are many other health benefits to cooking with bone broth, but when mixed with beer and cheese, you forget it is healthy for you.
You don’t have to serve this soup in a bread bowl as I have suggested, but I would recommend, at a bare minimum, serving it alongside a soft pretzel. The thick, velvety texture of the soup demands to be sopped up with a bread source.
This hearty soup can be a main dish or an appetizer, but either way, I highly suggest that you use bone broth for a delectable flavor. Enjoy!
Photography By James Stefiuk
Beer Cheese Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 medium carrots diced small
- 2 medium celery stalks diced small
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 onion diced small
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup flour
- 4 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 12 ounces dark wheat beer such as Guinness
- 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 6 bread bowls
- parsley for garnish
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon on medium high heat until crispy. Removebacon from pan and drain on a paper towel–lined plate. When cool, crumble thebacon.
- Reduce heat tomedium and drop the butter into the bacon drippings. Add onion, garlic, celeryand carrots to the pot and cook until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Stir in flour anddry mustard. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. It will become thick.
- Slowly add the beer,a little at a time, whisking after each addition until all the beer isincorporated. Then add the chicken bone broth in the same way, whisking aftereach pour. Repeat with the milk. The consistency should be smooth after all theliquid is added.
- Add Worcestershiresauce, thyme and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutesuntil thick and bubbly.
- Reserve ¼ cup ofcheese for topping. Stir the remaining cheese into the soup until melted.
- Ladle the soup intobread bowls. Top with reserved cheese, parsley and crumbled cooked bacon. Serve immediately.