- Prep Time : 10 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 4-6 medium sized bowls
- Allergens : Milk/Dairy
- Onion - 1 cup, diced
- Carrots - 1 cup, diced
- Celery - 1 cup, diced
- Fresh Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- Black Pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Beer (Lighter or Blonde works best. Alt Brew out of Madison, WI makes a great GF blonde.) - 2 cups
- Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth - 3 cups
- Butter or Earth Balance Dairy Free, Soy Free Spread - 1/3 cup
- Flour (or GF Flour Blend like Namaste) - 1/3 cup
- Milk - 4 cups
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese - 6 cups shredded
- Worcestershire Sauce - 2 teaspoons
- Dijon Mustard - 1 Tablespoon
- Dry Mustard - 1 teaspoon
- Bread Bowl (Optional) - 4-6
NOTE: If using bread bowls and making home-made croutons, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat (reserving the rest of the butter for later in the recipe).
Add carrots, onion, celery, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
Pour in chicken broth and beer and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Then, remove from heat.
Heat the remaining butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and whisk until the flour and butter have combine and is a light brown color. Gradually stir in milk and whisk until thickened.
Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in the cheese.
Add the beer into the cheese mixture. Stir in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard. Bring it to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
While the soup simmers prepare your bread bowls (optional) with the directions below.
Once the 10 minutes is up, at this point you can eat as is. I prefer a smoother soup so I chose to blend it in a blender in small batches. If you have an emersion blender that works even better.
I also purchased sourdough bread bowls at my market for a fancier serving dish that is also edible (why not make this indulgent meal even more decadent right?). You could also find gluten free bread bowls at your local grocery store.
Cut the tops off the bowl and hollow them out. I also chose to make croutons out of the insides for some additional crunch/texture. Just bake them on a baking dish tossed in olive oil at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
Skip the bread bowl and sprinkle the soup with popcorn, home-made croutons (GF optional & see directions above) or crushed up pretzels. You really can't go wrong!
I recently went to a women’s conference where the main topic was fellowship, not a word we hear very often anymore. Because I’m a foodie, I relate just about everything back to food. In my home growing up fellowship (defined as “friendly association”) always revolved around a meal or some sort of appetizer or snack. We ate, laughed, talked and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. I can remember many times my mom making beer cheese soup. It would feed a crowd, taste amazing and fill a stomach on a low budget. And us kids kind of felt like we were getting away with something being able to taste “beer”.
In this modern day where iPhones and gadgets are constantly taking up our attention true fellowship tends to get pushed to the back burner. Maybe it’s because we’re busier now? The crazy thing is that fellowship doesn’t have to be planned out and many times, I forget this thinking that it has to be a big “thing”. But it can be spontaneous, even with a stranger. Do you ever get the feeling that most of us spend so much time checking to see how many “likes” we have from our most recent Facebook or Instagram post or using those extra precious seconds to check one more email that sometimes we forget what true fellowship actually looks like? I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been there. I’ve been there on so many occasions I can’t possibly count them all. I’ve missed out on real conversations, voice to voice, face to face with people I can look in the eye and genuinely hear how they’re doing. This doesn’t happen all of the time but I know I’m guilty of it much more than I’d like to be.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love technology! I don’t know what I did before Google Maps and Pinterest is definitely my guilty pleasure. Facebook has helped me stay in contact with friends from around the world and I love having the ability to take pictures and videos whenever the mood strikes (which it does often). However, I’ve noticed that I also use technology as a crutch. For instance, when I’m sitting at a coffee shop waiting for a friend and I begin to feel that awkwardness creep in. That awkwardness when you realize that you’re not only sitting at a table alone with nothing to do but you’ve dazed off (because it’s the first moment you’ve had all day to actually slow down) and you are now staring awkwardly at that person across the room but not really seeing them. Yeah, when that creeps in I tend to grab my phone and pretend to be busy. Hiding behind it, if I’m really honest.
But I don’t want to do that anymore. Instead, I want to snap out of my daze, smile and say “hi”. And if it’s still awkward, I want to be OK with that. Life IS awkward and we need to embrace those awkward moments to grow and find out new things about ourselves and others.
So I guess my challenge to myself (feel free to join me if you’re up for it) is to call up some friends and truly get together. I’m not going to rely on a “like” of their latest comment to say, “even though we don’t get together often, we’re still friends and I’m showing you that because I just ‘liked’ your last comment.” I’m embarrassingly guilty of this. Maybe I’ll send an email (see, technology can still be my friend), invite them over to my place, look them in the eye and have some great conversation and fellowship over a bowl of beer cheese soup. I can’t promise the conversation will be amazing but I can promise the meal will be.