Friday, February 29, 2008

Cheddar Cheese & Beer Soup

When Matt & I visited Yosemite in 2006 one thing we both really wanted to do was visit the Ahwahnee Hotel. In the middle of all this amazing natural beauty is this beautiful old hotel. ahwahnee hotel
We had lunch while we were there & Matt had their Fiscalini Farms Cheddar Cheese & Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Soup. It was fabulous. The waiter asked if he liked it & offered us the recipe. It has become a staple in our house ever since. It goes together pretty quickly & the worcestershire, horseradish & dijon give it an amazing flavor.

Fiscalini Farms & Sierra Nevada Brewery are both local to California so when we made it here we decided to go with things local to this area. We used a very good aged Wisconsin Cheddar that was recommended to us at Lund's & Schell's Pale Ale from New Alm, MN.

Cheddar Cheese & Beer Soup

½ C. onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
6 slices bacon, diced
1 Tbsp. butter
¼ C. all-purpose flour
6 C. vegetable broth
4-6 oz. Pale Ale
2 C. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. Worcesstershire Sauce
2 tsp. prepared horseradish
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 bay leaves
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
½ lb. shredded cheddar cheese

Heat a 6 qt. stockpot over a medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook until bacon is ⅔ done. Add the onion and garlic and continue cooking an additional three minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add butter and flour and mix thoroughly to make roux. Add vegetable stock and cook until desired thickness. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving. Serve with a crusty bread or homemade croutons like they do at the Ahwahnee.

This soup does not thicken very much so if you prefer a thicker cheese soup make a little more roux.


Anonymous said...

Wow. This may be on the menu this weekend. Do you think using chicken stock instead of veggie stock would alter the taste too much? I always have lots of homemade chicken stock on hand and hate having to buy stock.

kat said...

Good question. I should have mentioned that we use chicken stock instead of veggie because I really prefer the taste of chicken. Thanks for asking

Allen said...

Beer. Cheese. Bacon. Heavy Cream. I'm in love :-) I make a similar soup -- yours looks soooo good!

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. Schell's made a beer I bought in college, Schell's Deer Beer, because it was incredibly cheap and because it was made in the "neu" version of the town that I spent my first months of life--Ulm.

Anonymous said...

I found this recipe last year, right after we visited Yosemite! It is amazing and one that I will continue to make for years and years to come! It will always remind me of the beauty of Yosemite in the snow! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try some of the other soups you have posted! Thanks!

clove said...

Instead of Schell's Pale Ale from New Ulm, I'd go with a local beer more similar to Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale like Summit's Extra Pale Ale originally from St. Paul, MN.

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