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Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

Wisconsin, home of so many cheeses, is the inspiration for this hearty soup that highlights bock beer and two kinds of cheddar, with its traditional garnish of popcorn and chives. Be sure to use sharp, good-quality cheeses and bock beer—the strong, dark lager’s maltiness creates a depth of flavor you will not get with a lighter beer.

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • ½ C (115 g) butter
  • 2 med yellow onions, finely diced
  • 4 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 4 med carrots, finely diced
  • 2 T (20 g) garlic, roasted and mashed
  • 1 C (125 g) flour
  • 1 12-oz (355-ml) bottle bock beer
  • 4 C (946 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 tsp (1 g) thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp (1 g) smoked paprika
  • 1 T (16 g) Dijon mustard
  • 4 C (946 ml) heavy cream
  • 16 oz (454 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 16 oz (454 g) white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt to taste

Garnish

  • 1½ T (5 g) chives, chopped
  • ½ C (4 g) popped popcorn, dusted with salt and pepper

Directions

In a large pot over medium low heat, cook butter, onions, celery, carrot and garlic until softened. Add flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium, stir in beer and broth, bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened. Add thyme, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard and cream. Add cheese slowly, stirring constantly, until incorporated. Remove from heat; remove bay leaf. Garnish with chives and popcorn just before serving.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes.
  • Cook time: 30 minutes.
  • Makes 16 servings.