Bratwurst on the grill, Friday fish fry, beer, and cheese. Some things are ubiquitous in our home state of Wisconsin. Like all of the above, you are likely to find a steaming bowl of beer cheese soup in just about any mom and pop restaurant in Wisconsin. It’s not exactly health food. But, it’s certainly delicious.

Warming, creamy and filled with beta-carotene, this soup is a healthier take on the traditional beer cheese soup. Using pumpkin soup as a base, we’ve added a bit of beer and some deliciously smoky Gouda to create the perfect warm-up for game night or a casual weeknight dinner. Serve with soft pretzels or crusty bread for the perfect autumn meal.

The soup becomes ultra-silky and rich when you add a bit of heavy cream. But, you can also choose to bypass the cream and serve it simply with a few scallions strewn on top.

Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup
By Lori & Paul
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Spanish onions, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 6 cups)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 cups smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded
12 ounces pumpkin lager (brown ale or English ale can also be used)
1/2 cup chopped scallions

Directions:

Melt butter over medium heat in the bottom of a medium stock pot. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until it begins to turn transparent. Add garlic and sauté for 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Add pumpkin. Toss to combine.

Pour stock over the top of the pumpkin mixture and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is very tender.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender, or in the pot with an immersion blender, until very smooth.

Add cream to the soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and whisk in the shredded Gouda. Whisk constantly until the cheese is melted and well incorporated. Continue whisking while you add the beer (to taste). You can add up to 12 ounces of beer to this soup, depending on how much beer flavor you’d like.

Garnish with scallions.

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