Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

So we've just started getting some fall weather up here on the North Coast and Jen and I decided that on a cold, rainy day we had to have some cheese soup for dinner.  There's not much better than a hot bowl of some stick-to-your-ribs soup in the winter.  And since the wife spent part of her childhood in Wisconsin we had some comparisons and adaptations to make for the Humboldt version.  Some California cheese, a little chopped, fresh hot pepper, and some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale make this a Nor Cal soup all the way.

What better to accompany a Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup than some original Wisconsin tunes from an iconic 80's alternative rock group, The Violent Femmes?  Here they celebrate this crazy whacked out country of ours, in a way that only they can, with their hit "American Music"! - justin

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup
  • 1/2lb Smoked Polish Sausage (Kielbasa)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh pobalano (or other mild pepper), deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 12oz beer (I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8oz extra sharp Cheddar, shredded
  • 8oz Colby Jack, shredded
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    Dice the Polish Sausage and cook in a skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.  Drain off excess fat and set aside.

    Melt butter in stock pot over medium heat and add yellow onion, carrot, celery, green onion, fresh pepper, salt and ground black pepper.  Sweat until translucent, approx 5-7 minutes, and add the flour.  Stir in the flour until all the butter is absorbed and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring to avoid burning.  Add the chicken broth and beer and stir to incorporate flour until liquid returns to a boil.  Add the milk to thin out the thickening soup base and then slowly add the cheese in small increments, making sure it melts before adding more.  After the cheese is incorporated, add the yellow mustard and the Worcestershire sauce and stir in the cooked sausage.  Voila!  Serve hot as the soup will thicken further upon cooling.

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