15-Minute Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
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Learn how to make delicious beer cheese soup quickly – in under 15 minutes! This recipe has Canadian bacon for smoky flavor and crunchy garlic croutons on top.
When we were at Epcot awhile ago I noticed Cheddar Cheese Soup on the menu at the Canadian restaurant, Le Cellier. Seeing it there reminded me that I hadn’t made it in awhile, possibly not since we moved to the States from Canada. I decided it was time. And since I’m currently doing this SOUPin15 series of quick soup recipes, I decided to adapt the recipe to be really fast, ready in under 15 minutes in fact.
I should note before going further that while Canadians do make this soup, so do Americans. It’s especially popular in Wisconsin where it’s called Beer Cheese Soup. I’ve opted to use this name for today’s recipe because the Le Cellier name doesn’t get across that there’s beer involved here and that it’s crucial to the flavor.
And the beer really is important. It adds a rich, dark behind-the-scenes flavor that is hard to get with anything else. Together with some aged cheese, it’s really outstanding. They go together so well that when my husband tasted the soup he said, “Mmmm…hmmm…mmmm…I could just spread that on bread and eat it like a dip!”
Somehow he didn’t know that Beer Cheese Dip exists as a thing. I told him and he insisted that I make some. Immediately. I did and since then it has become one of his favoirte things. I’ll have that recipe for you later this week.
Before I get to today’s Beer Cheese Soup recipe I’m going to tell you about the SouperTip for this soup. That’s the thing that makes this soup so delicious so quickly. If you guessed that it would be the beer, you’d be right. Partially. It’s actually alcohol more generally. Adding a splash of beer, wine or even vodka or brandy to a soup will add a great deal of flavor. More than just the flavor of the alcohol itself as well.
Alcohol helps things taste better in two ways. First, it evaporates quickly and so the smells get to your nose more easily, which in turn adds to how we experience the food’s taste. Second, alcohol bonds with both fat and water which results in more flavors being dissolved and more flavors penetrating throughout the dish. To read more about alcohol’s role in cooking, head over here.
The beer is crucial. But the cheese is pretty necessary too. If you’re loving the idea of this quick cheesy beer soup I bet you’ll also love these other cheese-lover’s soups too:
O.K., back to that Beer Cheese Soup. Let’s do this! See you in 15!
This quick beer cheese soup has some Canadian bacon in it for smoky flavor and it’s topped with quick garlic croutons for some crunch. To make this soup in under 15 minutes, first read through the recipe. As you read gather together all of the ingredients, tools, pots and pans you’ll need so that everything is ready to go. There is however no need to prep any ingredients. All of the prep is explained in the instructions and is included in the 15 minute time. See you in 15! Yield 6 cups.
- 3 cups low or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- coarse black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. neutral oil (grape seed or vegetable)
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 rib celery
- 1 small onion
- 2 thick slices of bread
- 2 garlic cloves, divided
- 6 oz. Canadian bacon or black forest ham
- 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 12 oz. beer (lager or ale, depending on what you like)
- 1 cup half and half cream
- 12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (buy it shredded)
- Put the broth in a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper. Cover and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- While the broth heats, warm the oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Mince the celery and add it to the skillet. Stir. Finely chop the onion and add it. Stir. Let it cook. Put the bread into the toaster and toast it. Meanwhile, finely chop the Canadian bacon and add it to the onions. Stir. Mince one garlic clove and add it as well. Reduce heat to low.
- Cut the second garlic clove in half. When the toast has finished toasting, rub the toasts with the cut side of the garlic clove. Discard remaining garlic (or save it for another use). Cut each slice of bread into 16-20 cubes. Set aside.
- Add the flour to the onion mixture in the skillet. Stir to coat everything in flour. Add about 1/4 cup of beer. Stir. Add another 1/4 cup of beer. Stir. Continue until all the beer has been added.
- Take the broth off of the heat. Add the beer mixture all at once. Stir and then put the soup back on high heat and bring it to a simmer. Add the half and half. Return to a simmer. Remove the soup from the heat and add the shredded cheese. Stir until it melts in. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with garlic croutons.