I had a delicious beer cheese soup at a local pub last weekend and wanted to try and recreate it at home. This recipe was a first for me and was a bit of an experiment. I was pretty relieved it turned out ok, because I had no back up plan for Saturday's lunch. Kale chips and crusty bread made it a complete meal. I used three cheeses, two of which were smoked. As long as there's at least one cheddar in the mix somewhere, you can get creative with the other cheeses you add. Here's my version:Soup Ingredients:
-Cheese (I used smoked applewood cheddar, Gruyere, and a smoked Bavarian cheese.)
-A dark, stout beer like Guinness or Murphey's
-3 cloves of garlic
-Chicken bullion or soup base
-Herbs (I used Herbs de Provence, but thyme would work well too.)
1. In your stock pot, saute several tablespoons of butter with about 1/3 cup of chopped carrots, 1/3 cups of minced shallots, and minced garlic on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
2. Grate 2 cups of various cheeses and set aside.
3. Add 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of whipping cream, and 10 ounces of beer to the stock pot. Bring to a slow boil. Add 2 bullion cubes or 1 tablespoon chicken base and stir. Lower heat once it is dissolved.
4. In a separate pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter to begin the roux. Add in 1/3 cup of flour stirring to combine. Cook on low, stirring consistenly, for 3-5 minutes. This roux will darken a bit in color, which is good.
5. Add 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of milk to the mixture. Whisk together until blended. Turn heat to low.
6. Slowly add cheese to the roux mixture and stir until it melts. Do not allow to boil. If this begins to happen, quickly remove from the heat.
7. Once melted, add cheese mixture to the stock pot and combine. Make sure heat is kept low.
8. Top serving bowls with extra grated cheese and chopped chives.
If you've never made kale "chips" before, you'll be shocked at easy they are. My husband doesn't usually love green vegetables, but he'll eat kale chips! Yes, a kale salad would be healthier, but it sure beats potato chips.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and tear kale into "chip sized" leaves.
2. Toss with olive or grape seed oil and spread out evenly on a cookie sheet.
3. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges are starting brown.
On a side note, today is my wedding anniversary.
Three years in and I'm realizing all the time what a blessing marriage is. We've had some pretty tough situations thrown at us for a "recently wed" couple. We weren't expecting our "...for worse" years to show up so soon. Not only has my husband been there for me emotionally, but he challenges me to hope through tears and be transparent when it's easier to mask my fears under false confidence. He cares too much to let me sulk and hide and avoid dealing with problems. We're sometimes surprised at how quickly we find ourselves being changed for the better simply by doing life together. The master plan seems to make more sense the farther along we go. I can't say being married is what I thought it would be. It's so much better and harder and more beautiful than I had imagined.