Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
Recipe courtesy of chef Daniel Pope of Miller Time Pub and Grill in the Hilton Milwaukee. Substitute any amber ale or lager for the Killian’s used here. The hotel serves this rich, creamy soup garnished with chopped parsley and bacon bits.
In a large heavy- bottomed stock pot over medium heat, render 6 strips peppered bacon, roughly chopped, then add 1⁄2 lb. unsalted butter, 1⁄2 c. diced yellow onions, 1⁄4 c. diced celery and 1⁄4 c. diced carrots. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and onions are clear.
Pour fat and vegetables through a cheesecloth-lined strainer to separate vegetables from fat. Squeeze veggies until dry, discard them and reserve fat. Pour fat back into stockpot.
Toast 1 c. white medium-grain rice in fat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1 qt. Killian’s Irish Red beer, 2 qts. water, 1 t. Worcestershire sauce, 1 T. salt, 1 t. white pepper, 1 t. granulated garlic, 1⁄2 t. cayenne pepper and 1 t. Dijon mustard to the pot. Bring liquid to a simmer. Continue to simmer until rice is mushy, 30-40 minutes.
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On medium heat, add 2 qts. half-and-half. Add 2 lbs. cubed Wisconsin sharp cheddar a little at a time while stirring. Once all cheese is added, blend soup in the pot using hand-held stick blender. Add 2 qts. water while blending to reach smooth consistency. Remove from heat. Serve.