This decadent soup is a Wisconsin classic. Beer cheese soup is creamy and comforting with just the right amount of diced vegetables for great texture and complex flavor!
What is it?
Beer cheese soup is a comforting Wisconsin classic that features a creamy Cheddar broth that is infused with the rich flavor of beer. Most beer cheese soups have diced vegetables mixed in, but this is optional. If you are looking for an even heartier soup, pick up some freshly made bratwursts, chop them up, and add them to this creamy soup as well!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Fresh vegetables - Carrots, yellow onion (can substitute sweet onion), celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic.
- Olive oil - You can substitute any cooking oil, butter, or bacon grease.
- All-purpose flour
- Half and half - Heavy cream is great too.
- Chicken stock - Vegetable stock or chicken broth are both good substitutes.
- Beer - For best results, a malty beer like an Octoberfest Marzen or Amber lager will be the best beer to use. However, even an American-style lager will be fine. Avoid using hoppy beers or the soup will taste bitter.
- Sharp cheddar cheese - Sharp cheddar is the best cheese for this soup because of its pronounced flavor, but you can substitute your favorite cheese as well.
- Dijon mustard - Stone ground mustard or brown mustard can be used instead.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Table salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Smoked paprika - Regular paprika can be substituted.
- Optional - If you want to add some heat, hot sauce or cayenne pepper can be added.
How to make it
To make this Wisconsin beer cheese soup recipe, begin by sauteing your carrots, onion, celery, and bell peppers in a Dutch oven with two tablespoons of cooking oil over medium heat. Let the vegetables cook until they are tender, then add the minced garlic and cook an additional two minutes.
Remove the vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and set them aside, then reduce the stovetop to low heat and melt butter and flour together to form a roux. Continue to stir the butter mixture for at least three minutes to cook out any raw flour taste. Then begin adding your half and half to the roux slowly, along with the chicken stock and beer. Continue to whisk as all of the liquid is added.
Finally, melt your pre-shredded cheese into the soup a handful at a time. Then return the sauteed veggies to the pot, along with seasonings and you are ready for dinner!
This hearty soup is great to serve with soft pretzels for dipping.
Storing and Reheating Leftover Beer Cheese Soup
Any leftover beer cheese soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent odors inside the fridge from seeping into the soup. The soup is best enjoyed within five days.
You can easily reheat beer soup in the microwave or gently warm in in a saucepan on the stovetop.
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Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
- ⅓ cup butter (divided)
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12 ounces beer (recommended: Octoberfest Marzen or Amber lager)
- 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- bacon (crumbled)
- chives (chopped)
- Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a Dutch Oven and add diced carrots, onion, celery, and peppers. Cook on medium heat until vegetables are tender, add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
- Remove vegetables from pot, turn pot on low and add ⅓ cup butter. When butter is melted sprinkle in flour and whisk continually to form a roux. Cook the roux for 3-5 minutes while whisking.
- Slowly add Half and Half to the roux, whisking to combine. Then add chicken stock and beer.
- Add Cheddar cheese one handful at a time until it is completely melted into the soup.
- Mix in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and return vegetables to the pot.
- Bring the pot to a simmer for 5 minutes and serve the hot soup topped with bacon or chives, as desired.
This recipe was originally published on September 24, 2018.