Commonly found in the best pubs the world over, beer cheese soup is not only intensely cheesy, but also incredibly satisfying and a perfect accompaniment for beer and bread.
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Beer Cheese Soup
Beer cheese soup is a pretty simple soup recipe, combining basic veggies, bacon and some mustard and cream with a whole lot of beer and cheese. Despite how seemingly wrong that sounds, the final soup is otherworldly in flavor.
It is cheesy, but not like mac & cheese cheesy; it is beery, but not like you are just drinking a beer. It even has all of those warm, comforting flavors and aromas you associate with a calming, wintery soup thanks to the mustard and traditional herbs.
While this might not be especially healthy, you owe it to yourself to give beer cheese soup a try at least once.
Beer Cheese Soup Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts, as there are a few fiddly ingredients here.
• Thick-cut bacon
• Minced garlic
• Chicken broth
• Bottle of light beer, like pilsner
• Dried thyme
• Dijon mustard
• Worcestershire sauce
• Heavy cream
• Yellow cheddar cheese
• Smoked cheddar cheese
• Salt & pepper
• Smoked paprika
• Fresh parsley
• Ground nutmeg
How To Make Beer Cheese Soup
• Fry the bacon until tender-crisp in a Dutch oven
• Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan and drain the rest
• In the Dutch oven, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until they are softened
• Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, maybe 2 minutes
• Add in the chicken stock and beer, as well as the thyme, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and cook over medium heat while whisking often for about 15 minutes
• Whisk the cornstarch into the heavy cream, and then whisk it all into the soup
• Add in the cheese slowly, whisking constantly until it is all melted in
• Season to taste, adding hot sauce if desired
• Blend using an immersion blender to puree everything together, and then ladle the soup into bowls and garnish
Some Extras You Can Use To Amplify Your Soup
This beer cheese soup is so intensely flavorful that you probably don’t want to change even a thing. However, some people like a stronger, more varied soup than just the rather simple recipe listed here.
To really amplify your soup, you could a couple things to vary the flavor profile like some smoked paprika or even some nutmeg.
Smoked paprika will make your soup taste like it is super smoky and intense, even if you use only a little bit.
Using nutmeg, however, will make it somehow feel more “homey” and comforting, like a traditional mac and cheese recipe your Grandmother used to make.
For something a little more intricate, you could make your own bread bowl to use in this recipe as well!
The Types of Beer You Should Use To Make Beer Cheese Soup
The answer to any question concerning what type of ingredient to use is invariably going to be “whatever you like,” but for this recipe, there are a few clear winners.
As this soup wants to let the veggies and the cheese shine through when it comes to flavor, you want to avoid any beer with a really intense, dark flavor profile if you can help it. Stouts, porters or darker, maltier German beers probably won’t do well here.
However, lighter, airier and more fragrant beers would work perfectly. Things like a German Kolsch or a pilsner are the ideal beer for making beer cheese soup.
You can even use a really fruity IPA if you like it, but just remember that any flavors in the beer will carry over into the beer. Don’t use a lemon-forward beer if you don’t want a lemon-flavored soup!
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Beer Cheese Soup
- Prep Time
- 25 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- American, German
- Karlynn Johnston
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot finely diced
- 1 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth
- one 12-ounce bottle pilsner or other light beer
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 8 ounces aged yellow cheddar cheese coarsely shredded
- 4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese coarsely shredded
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- smoked paprika
- minced fresh parsley
- ground nutmeg
- In a Dutch oven or a large stockpot, fry the diced bacon until tender-crisp. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined player to drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pan, and drain the rest.
- Using the reserved bacon great, saute the onions, carrots, and celery until the vegetables are softened. Add in the garlic, then saute until browned and fragrant.
- Add the chicken stock and beer, thyme, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and cook over medium heat, whisking often, for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the heavy cream, then whisk into the soup. Keep whisking until it’s fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
- Add in the shredded cheese slowly, whisking until the cheese has melted in, then adding a bit more until all of the cheese has been melted in.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and a dash of hot sauce if desired.
- Remove from the stove and use a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup until it’s all smooth and combined. You can also puree it in a blender if needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the reserved cooked bacon and any seasoning choices you prefer.
- smoked paprika adds another smoky layer to this soup if you sprinkle some on top while serving
- nutmeg is a traditional choice to sprinkle on top, just a little bit does the trick
- if using a bread bowl, the calories for this recipe don’t include it
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.