Bread. Beer. Bacon. Cheese. Four of my absolute favorite things. So why not put them all in one big pot and make a soup? This is the best soup I never knew I needed in my life. It’s rich in flavor and oh so decadent and filling. And you absolutely must eat it in a bread bowl. There is no other way to do it in my opinion. There’s something about the cheesy soup melting into the bread and soaking it with deliciousness. The outside of the bread stays crunchy while the inside almost melts in your mouth. I eat about 1/4 of the soup first, then slowly pick off bits of the bowl and dip it in the beer cheese soup. It’s the only way to eat it. So keep that in mind when you finally sit down to enjoy this wonderful bowl on soup.
I hear pretty much the entire United States is beyond freezing at the moment… so I’m here to say this is the perfect thing to warm you up in those below freezing temperatures. It was 22 degrees in Atlanta this morning and that was brutal… so I can’t even imagine everyone up north with -20 degree temperatures. My thoughts are with everyone up there as the week pushes forward. When winter becomes this brutal, I can’t help but think about all the homeless and helpless animals outside. All my prayers go out to anyone without a place to call home to keep you warm. I’m feeling extra thankful today for all the luxuries in my life. A roof over my head, food on my table and heat to keep my warm. Always grateful. Keep warm everyone!
SPICY BEER CHEESE SOUP BREAD BOWL
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 47 minutes
Total time: 57 minutes
- 2 tbsp butter, salted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup carrot, small dice
- 1 serrano chili, small dice
- 1/2 large yellow onion, small dice
- 2/3 cup celery, small dice
- 3 large cloves garlic, small dice
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup beer (I used Dos Equis — any light lager will do)
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2.5 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 pinch kosher salt, more or less to taste
- 8 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- Chives, small dice
- 4 small French bread bowls
- Heat a large Dutch oven pot to medium low heat. Add in butter, olive oil, carrot, Serrano chili, onion, celery and garlic. Cook while stirring occasionally for about 20-25 minutes (or until onions are translucent and vegetables are tender and soft).
- Add in flour to form a rue and cook for an additional 2 minutes. The texture should look like a thick paste.
- Slowly pour in the beer while whisking. Turn heat up slightly to medium. Once the consistency has thickened, slowly add in chicken broth while continuing to whisk.
- Add in peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Let the mixture come to a soft boil then turn down heat to low. Cook for another 12-15 minutes.
- At this point remove the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs. Then slowly add in the milk and heavy cream. Turn the heat up to come to a soft boil and then add in the cheese little bits at a time. Whisk to combine. Allow the cheese to melt and the soup to thicken for another 5 minutes. Add in salt to taste.
- Turn off heat. At this point, you can use one of two methods to blend the mixture. Use an immersion blender to blend everything together in the same pot. If you do not own an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Add in the soup portions at a time and blend till smooth and creamy. Transfer to a separate pot.
- TIP for the bread bowl: Carve out the center of the French bread rounds. Place bowls in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 5-7 minutes. This will allow the inside to become slightly crunchy, which allows the soup to hold better inside. I like to also toast the bread crumbs that fall out when carving the center. Use bread crumbs as topping, as seen in the pictures above.
- Serve hot in a bread bowl. Garnish with bread crumbs, bacon and chives.