Learn how to make the BEST Beer Cheese Soup ... this rich, delicious recipe is sure to please a crowd and guaranteed to warm you up on chilly fall and winter days!
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Are you ready for the best cheddar cheese soup recipe ever?
If you've ever visited Wisconsin, you might have spotted a curious dish on the menu ... Beer Cheese Soup! You can find it on menus throughout the state, everywhere from pubs to more upscale spots. And I have to order it whenever I see it. The flavor is so unique and tasty!
If you've never had Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup before, you are in for a delicious surprise. Between the beer and the cheese, this soup is absolutely loaded with flavor.
As you might expect, it's creamy and cheesy, plus the beer adds an unexpected zing (that doesn't taste overwhelmingly like beer, I must add).
Best of all, it's quick and easy to make. Serve it on a busy weeknight, or save it for your next party or game day celebration ... either way, you're going to love it!
This classic cheese soup is made with super simple ingredients. You probably have most of them in your cupboard already!
Here's what you'll need:
- Unsalted Butter
- Veggies: Onions, Carrots, Celery, Fresh Garlic, Green Onions
- Herbs and Spices: Bay Leaf, Paprika, Cayenne
- Vegetable Broth (I make my own from Bouillon.)
- Dijon Mustard
- Heavy Cream
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Salt (I use Kosher Salt) and Pepper
Pretty basic, right? The two ingredients to pay attention to (not surprisingly) are the beer and the cheese. I recommend using an American-style lager for this recipe (I used PBR). A Mexican lager (like Modelo Especial), though not as traditional, would also work. Avoid super hoppy or bitter beers for best results.
Make sure to choose a good quality cheddar for this recipe, too. A sharp Wisconsin cheddar is ideal if you can find it. You can use white or yellow cheddar, just keep in mind that white cheddar will change the color of the finished soup.
By the way, this soup is vegetarian as long as you use vegetable broth and a vegetarian cheddar.
You'll Also Need
To make this recipe, you'll need a large soup pot or dutch oven. I used my trusty Calphalon Dutch Oven, and it works perfectly for this recipe. An immersion blender also comes in super handy for blending the soup, although you can use a regular blender in a pinch (or skip the blending altogether).
How to Make Beer Cheese Soup
If you've never made Beer Cheese Soup before, you might be surprised by how easy it is to prepare. You only need about half an hour for this quick, decadent recipe!
You'll start by sautéing the veggies (onions, carrots, and celery), along with a bay leaf, in a little butter. After the veggies have softened (it takes about 10 minutes), you'll season them with garlic, paprika, and cayenne.
Next, you'll add flour to help thicken the soup, then slowly stir in the beer and broth. Make sure to whisk constantly as you add the liquids to eliminate any clumps.
After a few minutes of simmering, the soup will thicken. Beer Cheese Soup is often served pureed, and if you'd like a smooth soup, now's the time to do it.
I recommend using an immersion blender to puree this soup. You can just stick it right in the pot and blend, rather than transferring the soup to a blender ... which is always a messy process. Make sure to remove the bay leaf first, and if your pot is nonstick, hold the blender slightly above the bottom. That way, you won't scratch its surface.
If you're like me and enjoy a little texture, you don't need to puree the soup. It's up to you.
Next, you'll stir in a little Dijon mustard and heavy cream, and then it's time to add the cheese ... the best part! Add the cheddar a handful at a time, whisking the soup until it's smooth.
Season your vegetarian Beer Cheese Soup to taste with salt and pepper, then serve it topped with a sprinkle of green onions. And that's all there is to it ... wasn't that easy?
Tip: Make sure to shred the cheddar cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with additives to keep it from clumping, and it won't melt as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
I hope I've inspired you to make this easy Beer Cheese Soup yourself! Here are some commonly asked questions (and answers) about this recipe.
What beer is best in Beer Cheese soup?
I recommend using an American-style lagers for this recipe. Lagers have enough flavor to give this soup its traditional taste, yet they're mild enough not to overpower the finished soup. Think Pabst Blue Ribbon, or even Modelo Especial, a Mexican lager. A smooth-tasting brown ale would also work. You can experiment with any type of beer you enjoy drinking, although I would avoid bitter beers with lots of hops, like IPAs, Pales Ales, etc.
Does Beer Cheese Soup have alcohol in it?
Yes, food cooked with beer retains some alcohol even after cooking. How much remains will depend on how long a recipe cooks, among other factors. Check out this a helpful article for more information.
How do you fix bitter Beer Cheese Soup?
For starters, I would suggest avoiding bitter, super hoppy beers, like IPAs. I've never had this soup turn out bitter when using an American-style lager. If your soup does end up tasting a little off anyway, then try adding an extra splash of heavy cream or some additional cheese. Salt can also take away bitterness in food, so add a little more if your soup is under-seasoned.
Can you reheat this soup?
This soup is best on the day it's made, but you can easily reheat leftovers. Heat it slowly in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently. Do not heat quickly over high heat, or the soup may separate.
This soup is super rich and creamy, and you don't need much else to make a meal. I love serving it with bread for dipping ... soft pretzels and thick slices of rye bread or garlic bread are especially delicious. You could also top it with popcorn or homemade croutons.
Looking for more hearty soup ideas? Then you're going to love these recipes, too!
- Vegetable Barley Soup ... my most popular soup recipe!
- Creamy Kale and Potato Soup
- Easy Lentil Soup
- Vegetable Stew
- Creamy Wild Rice Soup
- 15 Bean Soup
- Rosemary Potato Soup
- Creamy Spinach Artichoke Soup with Tortellini
Easy Beer Cheese Soup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup flour
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (12-ounce) can beer
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (green part only)
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, and ½ tsp. salt; saute until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, paprika, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Mix in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for a couple minutes.
- Slowly whisk in broth and beer.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened and veggies are tender.
- Discard bay leaf, then if you'd prefer a smooth soup, use an immersion blender to puree the soup. (I prefer it chunky.)
- Stir in dijon and heavy cream. Do not boil.
- Add cheese, one handful at a time, whisking until smooth. Again, do not boil.
- Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve soup hot, topped with green onions. Enjoy!
More Game Day Recipes
If you're looking for more game day recipes, then you're in luck! In celebration of football season, I’ve joined a group of bloggers to bring you football-inspired recipes all season long.
Last month, we shared our favorite tailgating recipes (I shared my amazing Bell Pepper Nachos!), and today we're sharing tons of team-themed ideas for celebrating on game day.
- Bird Gang Sonoran Nachos by Love Bakes Good Cakes
- Healthy Dirty Bird Dip by Dash of Herbs
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Sliders by Beer Girl Cooks
- Blackened Steak + Blue Cheese Nachos by Feast + West
- Easy pimiento cheese crackers by Family Food on the Table
- Italian Beef Sliders by Bread Booze Bacon
- Green Chili Pulled Pork Cheese Fries by Cake 'n Knife
- Greek Town Loaded Potato Skins by The Mexitalian
- Beer Cheese Fondue by Off the Eaten Path
- Spicy Pub Mustard by What A Girl Eats
- Bacon Mac n Cheese Cups by West via Midwest
- Swedish Meatball Dip with Tater Tot Dunkers by Peanut Blossom
- Crawfish Etouffee by The Speckled Palate
- Cajun Crawfish and Corn Fritters with Remoulade Dipping Sauce by For the Love of Food
- Reuben Sliders with Homemade Russian Dressing by A Dish of Daily Life
- Herb Pesto Arancini by A Little Gathering
- Beluga Lentil Hummus by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Philly Cheesesteak Nachos by Camp Brighton
- Philly Cheesesteak Cheesecake by Nik Snacks
- Primanti Style Sliders by Macheesmo
- Chicken Adobo Fries by Let's Ketch-Up with Linda
- Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs by Casa de Crews
- Double-Stuffed Potato Skins by A Simpler Grace
- Red Skin Potato Chili Nachos by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
- Purple Potato Salad by The Culinary Compass
- Cowboy Chili by See Aimee Cook
- Chicken Stack Sandwich by Around My Family Table
- Miami Mahi Mahi Sandwich by foodbyjonister
- Chicken Teriyaki Pizza (aka Seattle SeaChicken TeriHawki Pizza) by Loves Food, Loves to Eat
- Chocolate Blackberry Cheesecake Parfait by Mom's Messy Miracles
- Bengal Striped Bundt Cake by Foodtastic Mom
- Sweet and Salty Brownies by The Secret Ingredient Is
- Cowboy Cookies by The BakerMama
- Game Day Cupcakes by Polka Dotted Blue Jay
- Brownie Batter Dip by The Crumby Cupcake
- Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes by Two Places at Once
- Game Day Cookie Cups by Me and My Pink Mixer
- Game Day Candy Bark by Life's Ambrosia
- Red Sea Party Punch by Celebrating Family
- Welcome to the Jungle Cocktail by Love & Flour
- South Beach Punch by 2 Cookin Mamas
- Blue and Orange Jello Shot Gummies by Sustaining the Powers
- New England Rum Punch by Order in the Kitchen
- High Seas Sour Cherry Slush by Lizzy is Dizzy
I don't know about you, but now I'm hungry! Which recipe are you going to try first?
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