As many of you know, I went to school in Wisconsin. There are many things that Wisconsin is known for and high on the list are cheese, beer, and brats. During my five years in Wisconsin I became deeply acquainted with each of these delicacies and we developed a long lasting friendship that I hope never ends. As soon as I got these chicken bratwursts, courtesy of Goldn’ Plump, I knew I had to do more than simply stick it on a bun. So I decided on a hearty soup! What immediately comes to mind when I think of bratwurst is obviously beer. And when I think of beer I think of cheese. So voila! Beer cheese soup!
The thing I love about cooking is as soon as you figure out the method you can go anywhere from there. Soups are a perfect example of this. Once I figured out a long time ago that I should sauté my vegetables then make a roux, add the broth, and cheese comes last, I was set. And that was how this beer cheese brat soup was born.
There’s this restaurant in Madison, WI, called the Old Fashioned that I absolutely adore and they have a fantastic beer cheese soup. They puree all of the vegetables and top the soup with popcorn. I used that delicious memory as a basis for what I wanted my soup to taste like. I wanted it to be cheesy and beery and stick to the sides of your stomach as you ate it. Check. Check. And check. Traditionally beer cheese soup is puréed, however I tend to like my vegetables a little chunky in soups so I know they’re there, so I only puréed about half. You can choose to purée them all or even none at all, your choice. As for the beer, I wish I could have used a New Glarus Spotted Cow for the recipe, but since they don’t sell it in Illinois I used Sam Adams a few times and PBR the others. Use whatever you have on hand but make sure it’s a beer you like because you’ll definitely taste it!
So far I’ve made this recipe 4 times and it was a hit with everyone who tried it. It looks like it’s going to be a staple in my house and I hope in yours, too!
Beer Cheese Brat Soup
- 1.25 lbs gluten free bratwurst or chicken sausage (cut into 1/2 inch rounds)
- 1 1/2 cup carrots (diced)
- 1 cup celery (diced)
- 1 cup onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp gluten free flour blend
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 12 oz bottle of gluten free beer
- 3 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- In a large pot, cook sausage over medium-high heat until cooked through and brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and place in a medium bowl. Make sure to leave all the sausage dripping goodness in the large pot.
- Reduce heat to medium/medium-low. Melt the butter in the pan.
- Then, add the carrots, celery and onion and cook for 10-15 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Then, add the garlic and stir while it cooks for another 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour, stirring until it gets thick and light brown in color, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the ground mustard, cayenne pepper, dijon mustard and beer. Give it a good stir to make sure everything combines.
- Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- This next part is optional. Take an immersion blender (or place soup in the food processor) and pulse until the vegetables are ground fine. I did part of my soup like this because I like it chunky, but you could puree the entire soup or you don't have to do this at all! It's preference.
- Now, add the cheese, milk and cream to the soup and stir to combine.
- Then add the brats back into the soup.
- Let simmer for 20 minutes so the flavors can meld, giving it a quick stir every once in awhile.