I know. I know. It’s the week before Christmas. While sugar plums are dancing in heads, soup is just not on the brain for many. But I needed some comfort food, man, and Beer Cheese Soup seemed like the perfect way to go.
During my junior year in college I remember a roommate making Beer Cheese Soup one evening for a special beau. I caught glimpses of her prepping (and stressing) for the meal in between running to from classes. From what I observed it seemed like a big deal just for soup. Ever since, I’ve had it in my mind that Beer Cheese Soup was a challenge, so I never bothered with it. That was, until last week when I was craving comfort food, and ran across a recipe for a lightened up version of Beer Cheese Soup in The New Way to Cook Light from Cooking Light, one of my newest favorite cookbooks.
Seriously? I’d avoided making Beer Cheese Soup all these years? What a fuss over nothing. It really is simple. And it really is scrumptious. Simple and scrumptious, y’all. What better combo is there?
The soup came together in no time and disappeared just as fast. Although this lighter version uses a reduced-fat milk instead of heavy cream, it was still mighty rich and creamy. Serve alongside a salad, and/or a baked potato for the perfect lunch, or low-key weeknight meal. I can’t see how you’d be disappointed with this one. It’s one totally satisfying soup.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or enough to coat bottom of pan)
- 2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
- 2-3 pinches salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I'd recommend a light beer or pilsner to avoid bitterness.)
- 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (about 2¼ ounces)
- 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- fried bacon, crumbled
- finely chopped fresh chives
- sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes and toasted in oven
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, along with a few pinches of salt and pepper, and sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Stir in beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until onion is tender.
- Carefully pour beer mixture and half of chicken broth (1½ cups) into a blender. To avoid a mess, allow steam to escape by removing center piece of blender lid. Make sure blender lid is secure and place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until smooth.
- Return blended mixture to pan. Stir in remaining 1½ cups broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Whisk together flour and 1 cup milk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture, remaining 1 cup milk, and pepper to soup until combined. Cook for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Remove pan from heat. Gradually stir in cheese until smooth.
And for more tasty soup recipes, be sure to check out 101 Healthy Soup Recipes from CookingLight.com.