With the temperature turning towards the 50 degree mark the rainy season bearing down on us here in Northern California I was looking through the blog for a nice hearty potato soup. I found several potato soups and a one Beer Cheese Soup when I hit me, these two need to come together into a crazy delicious soup. If you are a fan of the blog (and if not you had better be becoming one as I type), you know that I LOVE to make (and eat) soup. To me, nothing beats a soup when it is cold and wet outside. I just adore the way the entire house smells when I am cooking soup. I love how serving a good soup to my hungry boys makes me feel. With one pot you can make a entire well balanced meal. Sure, you can serve it with a salad or some Cheese Garlic Biscuits, but you really don't need to do so.
First, things first, I started with the beer. My favorite beer at the moment is a Blue Moon Pumpkin Harvest. I love regular Blue Moon, but I want to marry Blue Moon Pumpkin Harvest beer (which is part of their seasonal collection). I would include a photo of one of the beers solo, but at this current time there are no more Blue Moon Pumpkin Harvest beers in my house. Someone drank them all (whistles to self while avoiding eye contact with the interwebz) and as soon as I find out who that was I will be sure to tell them how disappointed you all were, not to see a photos of a beer. Second, I started with a soup trifecta: onion, carrots and celery (a mirepoix) and I used this as a base to make a roux and went from there. Third, we have the potatoes and the cheese to bulk up the soup.
Beer, Cheese and Potato Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 12-ounce bottle of beer (see notes above for my beer choice)
6 cups vegetable broth
5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
5 grinder turns of whole black peppercorns
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
First, dice the onion, carrots and celery to make the mirepoix. This is building block of most soup recipes. Heck, it is the building block of many recipes.
Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. As the butter is fully melted, but before it begins to down add the onion, carrots and celery.
Saute the onion, carrot and celery until the vegetables are slightly tender and have given off their moisture.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue cooking for about 1 minute as the vegetables continue to release more moisture.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables while stirring continuously. Continue cooking while stirring the vegetable until the flour is completely absorbed by the butter and the vegetable juices.
Slowly add the beer to the vegetable/flour mixture, stirring constantly so that no lumps appear. Please do your best not to pass out for the delicious good smellingness of this step.
While continuing to stir, add the vegetable broth to the soup. Please not that this recipe calls for 6 cups of broth. The measuring cup above is a two cup model, and I merely refill it.
Stand back as far as possible and add the potatoes. What? You don't want hot liquid all over your lovely face or arms...so listen to your Veggie Mom and stand back!
Bring the soup to a full boil, reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook the soup for 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the cheese a little at a time stirring in each batch until melted.
That's right, stir slowly while the cheese melts. Once the cheese is entirely melted your soup is ready to be served up. You can add sour cream or the facon of your choice, but all you really need is a spoon.