Beer and Cheese Soup with Half Pints Bulldog Amber Ale

We like to use the Bulldog Amber Ale from our local brewery (Half Pints) in this recipe. We only used two bottles of beer in this run, and while the results were great, Brian suggested the beer flavour could be just a bit stronger.  So I’m bumping the recipe up to three bottles. If you would prefer a subtler hint of beer flavour, you could only use two bottles. 

For vegetarian variations, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups finely diced carrots
2 cups finely diced onion
2 cups finely diced celery
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
3 bottles Half Pints Bulldog Amber Ale
8 cups salt-free chicken broth
1/2 cup corn starch
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. tabasco sauce
8 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cans evaporated whole milk
salt & pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Set a large pot on the grill of the Big Green Egg over direct heat (ie, no plate setter), at about 400F-ish, and melt butter and sautée carrot, onion, and celery until soft.  Add garlic and sautee for one minute while stirring.  Do not brown the vegetables.  Add beer and bring to boil for a few minutes to burn off most of the alcohol.  Add chicken broth and return to a gentle boil.  Blend corn starch with worcestershire and tabasco and a bit of cold water if needed to make a thin paste, then add to soup.  Wisk until smooth and soup thickens slightly.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Add evaporated milk and season to taste.  Remove from heat and serve topped with croutons.

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