Beer Cheese Soup


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My grandma clipped this recipe from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This recipe is adapted from a recipe for a beer cheese soup sold at Hinterland, a bar/restaurant in Green Bay, Wis. I’ve never been there, but the Hinterland in Milwaukee’s Third Ward serves the best Bailey’s Chai Latte I’ve ever had. (At least they used to. God it seems like forever since I lived in Milwaukee.)

This recipe was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel around the time the Packers were playing (and winning!) in the Super Bowl. For eight years during college and right after I worked at a local chain restaurant in the Milwaukee area that served ridiculously delicious beer cheese soup; so I was very excited to try this beer cheese soup recipe. I even got Sis on board after she initially declined my offer to try some.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 c. butter)
  • 1 lb. bacon, chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 36 oz. Bock beer (I bought some at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 4 T. Frank’s hot sauce (buffalo sauce)
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 lb. smoked gouda, shredded
  • 1/2 lb. gouda, shredded
  • 1 bunch of green onions (green tops only) sliced
  • Rosemary Olive Oil Croutons for garnish

Directions

  1. Place butter and bacon in a large pot (at least 5-quart pot) over medium-high heat; cook until slightly browned, about 15 minutes. (If desired, remove 1/4 cup of bacon for garnish.)
  2. Add carrot, celery, onion and garlic; cook until onion becomes translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add flour to mixture; cook and stir until well combined and mixture is golden brown.
  4. Add chicken stock, beer, and cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add sauces.
  5. Set heat to low and slowly add Gouda; whisk in 3 to 4 batches of cheese until each batch is fully melted. Do not allow mixture to boil. (If desired leave 1/4 cup of shredded cheese aside for extra garnish.)
  6. Remove from heat once cheese is fully combined. Garnish with green onions, extra bacon bits and shredded cheese (if desired) or Rosemary Olive Oil Croutons (as I did!).

Recipe rating: 

Sis dubbed this soup “bacon fat soup” after she asked me if I wanted to drain the bacon fat into a glass jar she keeps in the freezer and I replied, You don’t drain the grease from this recipe. (I did not tell her about the additional 1/4 cup of butter added to the bacon during the frying step of the recipe.)

You may be wondering … why only three apples for my rating?

The taste of this soup was amazing. Couldn’t be any better, in my estimation. However, there was one huge flaw with this soup: it was extremely runny. I didn’t modify the ingredients all that much to account for a very runny soup. Sis swears the picture of the soup (that accompanies the recipe) reflects a thick beer cheese soup. I’m not so convinced by the picture, but I do believe the soup should have been thicker. I estimate that my recipe had approximately four ounces of extra beer.

The directions seem to be slightly lacking. I’m assuming there’s a part where you’re supposed to thicken the soup by reducing the liquid over a simmer. However, there are no clear directions indicating such. I would try this recipe again and attempt to make it a bit thicker by letting it simmer to reduce the liquids before adding the shredded cheese.

To be fair, it did seem as though the soup thickened slightly the next day. I had some for lunch the next day, mixed with my friend Tom’s chili that he brought to work, and a second helping for dinner.

A word of warning: this recipe makes a crap ton of soup. Unless you’re feeding a crowd, this will last you days and days and days…

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