Yesterday, I mentioned various reasons for wanting to make bread bowls for soup. I blamed it on Panera, and I blamed it on my new obsession with homemade bread. I lied. This soup is really what caused me to think about bread bowls (which I previously had zero interest in) constantly. When I saw this soup, I knew the only thing that could possibly make it better would be to serve it in a carbohydrate vessel. Once you have beer, cheese, and bacon together in one place the only thing missing from the party is bread. Or is it that once you have a great bread bowl, the only thing missing is to have beer, cheese, and bacon in one place? In my case, I saw the soup first and noticed that Jessica (How Sweet It Is) served it in a bread bowl and that she had a recipe for that bread bowl and I couldn’t help but be a total copy cat at that point.
The bread bowls are entirely optional, and I should know because when I
inhaled enjoyed this soup for lunch the following day I put it into a soup mug and still had a “wow this is good” moment with every bite. For this recipe, freshly grated cheese is the only way to go. Pre-grated cheese usually has stabilizers in it which are going to keep the cheese from melting just right for this soup. You are going to taste the beer in here, so choose a beer that you like to drink. A lighter wheat beer is what was suggested, I used Shock Top Belgian white and thought this was great. Because of the nature of melted cheese, I recommend eating this the day you make it. If that’s not possible, add a splash of liquid (milk or more beer) and reheat the soup over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Garnish with any herb you like, but I did find that sprinkling some fresh cilantro over this made for even more fantastic eats. While the bread bowl is optional, it is very highly recommended.
Bacon Beer and Cheese Soup
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 C. of your favorite beer
- 1 C. half and half
- 4 oz. sharp white cheddar, freshly grated
- 4 z. extra sharp yellow cheddar, freshly grated
- 4 oz. Colby jack, freshly grated
- fresh herbs (I like cilantro) for garnish (optional, but recommended)
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the bacon.
Cook until bacon is crispy then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.
Reduce the heat to low and add the onion, pepper and garlic.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the vegetables are translucent.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the butter.
Once the butter sizzles, add the flour and cook for 3-4 minutes until nutty and golden.
Add in the beer and cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the half and half, then reduce the heat to low and gradually add the cheese, stirring constantly.
Stir until the mixture is smooth, then fold in the bacon.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top with herbs if using, and serve immediately.
Source: How Sweet It Is