Beer Cheese Soup

December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you have heard me talk about any of my dining loves, you have heard me talk about Mad Fox Brewing Company, IMHO the best restaurant around here and one of the best restaurants ever.  And I don’t even drink beer – so I’m saying that based on the food alone, and I hear the beer is just another great contribution.

We typically get the pizza every time we go (it’s great), but one night I branched out and ordered this fabulous grilled peach and watermelon salad, which was served over frisée with some strange but equally fabulous combination of balsamic and raspberry vinaigrettes.   But I digress.  Because that, as fabulous as it was, was not the best thing I had that night.  I ordered a cup of their beer cheese soup.

Oh man.  It was out-of-this-world good.  I had to recreate it.

Full disclosure – mine didn’t come close to matching that creamy alcohol-laced perfection.   But it was pretty yummy.  I made a big change from the recipe I used – I used a food processor to grind up all the veggies, and it made the texture a bit strange.  But the flavor was good.  Now you can make it too – but better yet, call Mad Fox and see if they have beer cheese soup on the menu.  You will love it!

You need:

  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beer
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk or half and half
  • 6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • popped popcorn, for garnish

In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together carrots, onion, celery, and garlic.  Stir in hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Pour in chicken broth and beer; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes.  Remove from heat.  (After this step, I pureed the veggies – I recommend you skip that.)

Meanwhile, heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in flour with a wire whisk; cook, stirring until the flour is light brown, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Gradually stir in milk, whisking to prevent scorching, until thickened.  Remove from heat, and gradually stir in cheese.  Keep warm.

Stir beer mixture into cheese mixture.  Stir in Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.  Adjust for hot pepper sauce.  Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes.

Serve topped with the popcorn (as above) or with soft pretzels – they were even better than the popcorn!

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