Monday, December 7, 2009

Cheddar Beer Soup

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Blog posts will be a bit sparse here at veggie num nums this month as we have a jam packed December. I'm going to visit my family in Chicago this weekend, and then Dave and I have a couple of smaller holiday trips planned. We are also trying to fit in some extra volunteer work at the local VA hospital, and with some animal groups.

I had a block of really good cheddar languishing in the fridge, and in looking for recipes I found this Cheddar Beer Soup. I was worried that it would be heavy, but with the broth and the beer it's not overwhelming so. The beer gives the soup a really nice flavor that cuts through the richness of the cheese. This soup would also make a delicious topping for vegetables or baked potatoes.

Cheddar Beer Soup (adapted from Gourmet magazine)

2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth (14 fl oz)
1 (12-oz) bottle ale such as Bass
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb extra-sharp Cheddar (preferably English; rind removed if necessary), grated (4 cups)

Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating water, then lift out leeks and drain in a colander.
Cook leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaf in butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low and sprinkle flour over vegetables, then cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add milk, broth, and beer in a stream, whisking, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in mustard, salt, and pepper.

Add cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (do not boil). Discard bay leaf.


  1. I didn't know you were going to Chicago again. Have a great trip!

  2. YUM. Looks delicious, especially with the bread. Safe travels!

  3. oh yummy!!! I am going to have to try this one! I would love to hear more about your volunteer work...especially at the VA. We were talking about getting my brother in law more involved and the VA hospital came up (hes done 4 tours in Iraq as a sniper)...and just has a hard time now. Happy Holidays to you! If your cards didn't come yesterday they should for sure be there today! Hope they are what you wanted! xo

  4. Cheese soup with leeks and other veggies sounds really great!

    Enjoy your busy December!

  5. I too am having a tough time keeping up postings - it's just crazy here!

    David and I were just talking about a cheddar beer soup - I think I'll make this tonight.

    Thanks for sharing!