This Cheddar Ale Soup is thick, creamy, smooth and full of cheesy-goodness! Made with a light ale and a medium aged cheese to prevent bitterness.
This Cheddar Ale Soup is such a fun and easy dinner to make. Every time I make it, I instantly feel in a festive mood (as if I was in a pub with friends!).
My family loves it too – but really, what is not to like? It’s creamy, cheesy, thick, rich, tasty and perfect for cooler weather. As if that wasn’t enough, I top it with addictive buttery and spicy croutons (make extra croutons because you will munch on them as soon as they come out of the skillet).
I like to start my soups with onions, carrots and celery. This time I also added garlic and fresh thyme.
After cooking the vegetables, I added the flour to make a roux. Roux is basically a thickening agent made out of flour and any type of fat (butter, oil, etc). In this case, we started sauteing the vegetables with butter so that is the “fat” in our roux.
After mixing the flour and vegetables, cook it for a few minutes. This will prevent the soup from having a raw flour flavor. Then whisk in the beer, stock, half and half and let it simmer.
- I use a pale ale for this soup. You can also use a light blond beer. A light, pale or blond ale or beer is key for avoiding bitterness.
- Mild cheddar is great for this soup but if you like bolder flavors you can use sharp cheddar instead.
- I have an immersion blender that I bought about a million years ago. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one. They are inexpensive and so much easier to clean than a blender. With an immersion blender you can puree the soup directly in the pot. Otherwise, transfer the soup to a blender (work in batches) and process until the soup is smooth.
- Need some more soup ideas? Here are some delicious options:
Potato Corn Chowder
Italian Tomato Tortellini Soup
Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Crema
Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup
Ginger and Turmeric Carrot Soup
- You can also garnish the soup with chopped crispy bacon, scallions and jalapeno slices.
- Serve some salted pretzels on the side (my kids love them!)
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Cheddar Ale Soup
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 12-ounce bottle pale or blond ale or mild flavored blond beer
- 1 1/2 cup Half and Half
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, grated or ground
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 12 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated
- A few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
Spicy Croutons (optional)
- 2 cups bread cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook stirring often for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the flour and cook stirring for about 5 minutes or until well incorporated.
- Add the beer and mix well to combine. Add the stock and the Half and Half and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 to 18 minutes.
- With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. The liquid is hot so make sure you hold the blender lid down with a kitchen towel while processing to prevent overflow.
- If using a regular blender, return the soup to the pot. Add the cheese, whisking constantly until the cheese is well combined. Add the dried mustard, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco (if using). Mix well and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add salt, if needed. Serve.
To Make the Spicy Croutons
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the bread to the skillet and sprinkle the cayenne. Let the bread get golden on one side.
- Stir the bread trying to flip them if possible and let them cook until golden brown and crisp. This may take 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the skillet and season to taste.
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