Smoked Cheddar and Pumpkin Beer Soup
Creamy, smoky cheddar cheese and harvest-spiced pumpkin ale are combined to create a warm, comforting bowl of fall flavor. Smoked Cheddar and Pumpkin Beer Soup is rich, velvety and like nothing else you’ve ever spooned into your mouth. This is comfort food for your soul.
I just let the dog out and there’s a crispness to the air this morning. One that only comes with fall. Not quite “cold” but definitely not a summer morning, it’s chilly. But later today, I’ll sweat in the bulky sweater I put on to defeat the chill in the air because the temps will soar into the mid-70’s. Not quite wool sweater weather….yet. It’s definitely a confusing time of year for me.
Last week was my first full week home without any travel. I’ll recap some of my trips later this week and early next but in the meantime, I’m gearing up for another trip out west to Kansas City…where I’m sure there will be a crispness in the air there too. I will pack a month’s worth of clothes for two nights because I can’t even dress myself here…how can I possibly dress myself in a foreign land that I’ve never even been too. And I’ll be at the mercy of the restaurants to feed me comfort food to stave off the chill…which is not always a good thing. I have my go-to’s for cold, fall days like these. One of them is Cheddar Beer Soup. I love the bitter, creamy blend…it’s unexpected but totally amazing. But for my version, I added a few twists and turns to throw your tastebuds for a loop.
Smoked Cheddar and Pumpkin Beer Soup is exactly how it sounds….smokey cheddar is melted into a broth made from a spiced pumpkin ale. It’s smooth, it’s creamy, it’s totally incredible. It’s a soup that will make you want to sink into a big, fluffy chair with a thick blanket next to a crackling fire. It’s a soup that’s perfect all winter long.
I like to serve it with a fall inspired salad like this one topped with pears and a warm bacon dressing. The perfect light dinner for those brisk fall evenings. And then end the night with the most amazing brownie in the world. I’ll be serving this to guests soon….whoever rings my doorbell first.
Smoked Cheddar Pumpkin Beer Soup
- 3 strips of thick cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 celery stalk diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 large vidalia onion chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 12- ounce bottle Pumpkin Ale
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound sharp white cheddar shredded
- 4 ounces smoked cheddar shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- In a large pot, cook the bacon over med-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon (set aside for later) from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Return the pot to the heat. Add the celery and onion, cooking until softened. Stir in the garlic and thyme, cook for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin ale and reduce by half, approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and stir in the flour. Cook until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes and then add the mixture to the soup, whisking until incorporated. Continue cooking the soup until it begins to thicken. Slowly add the cream and cheese to the soup, stirring until smooth. Stir in the bacon and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
- Note: If the soup is too thick, add more stock one tablespoon at a time.