Cheddar Ale Soup

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All hale the cheesy Cheddar Ale Soup! It’s a soup packed with nutrients, a can of beer and it will help you learn a base cooking skill of making a roux. I promise it is easier than you think!

two turquoise soup and snack bowls with cheddar ale soup topped with popcorn and popcorn on the side

What You’ll Need for Cheddar Ale Soup

  • Butternut squash: You can also use canned pumpkin but the color of the soup will be more orange than yellow
  • Celery: Wash the celery well as most celery will have spots of dirt on it. Slice it in half length wise, lay it flat and chop.
  • White onion:
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno
  • Broth: Any broth can be selected but I recommend a low sodium option, bone broth, or making your own broth from veggie scraps like this one here.
  • Light beer
  • Gouda
  • Cheddar
  • Cayenne pepper: Even if you don’t like spicy food don’t leave this out. Just a touch of cayenne pepper can cut through the fat from the cheese and create a beautiful, balanced flavor.
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Avocado, olive, or canola oil: Truly many of these oils are similar and for this recipe it doesn’t matter which one you choose.
two turquoise soup and snack bowls with cheddar ale soup topped with popcorn and popcorn on the side

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the butternut squash. You have options! I prefer to put the whole squash into a slow cooker (no water needed, just the lid!) on high for 2-3 hours. Butternut squash can also be roasted or microwaved if done properly.
  2. Make a roux. This may sound intimidating but I promise it’s easier than you think and a great cooking skill to master.
    • Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour directly to the pan and use a whisk to mix it into a paste. Pour the milk into the skillet and gently increase the heat to medium high. Constantly whisking as you heat the milk to a simmer.
    • As bubbles form and pop rapidly, keep whisking! Once it’s thickened (takes 3-5 minutes) add the shredded cheese and stir/fold to combine.
  3. Once your roux is complete, set it to the side and add the diced celery, jalapeno, onion, and garlic to a soup pot with a tablespoon (drizzle) of oil for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, beer, seasonings, Worcestershire, and mustard to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add in the cooked butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  6. Using an immersion blender or standing blender to puree the soup.
  7. Once the soup is pureed, stir in the roux/cheese mixture.

Cooking Shortcuts

I love to add shortcuts in my posts because let’s face it we are all short on time, most of the time! Use any one of these shortcuts to speed up the process.

  • Pre-cut vegetables like pre diced celery
  • Frozen and ready to steam butternut squash
  • Frozen diced onions (my favorite lazy vegetable to keep on hand in the freezer)
  • Pre-made broth, better than bouillon paste or take it to the next level and make your own like I recommended above
  • Minced garlic or garlic powder
  • Pre-shredded cheese

Don’t ever feel bad for using shortcuts. Cooking shortcuts help us get nutritious meals on the table faster! They can also help you build your confidence as a cook by giving you time to master one skill at a time.

two turquoise soup and snack bowls with cheddar ale soup topped with popcorn and popcorn on the side

What’s the Best Cheese for Soup?

Personally, I always like a mix of different melty cheeses for soup. You want to make sure the cheese you choose will melt well such as cheddar, gouda, gruyere, Monterey jack, etc. I do find that shredding your own cheese from the block is much better for melt-ability but you can make pre-shredded cheese work too.

Essentially, use a cheese with a lower melting point and are higher in moisture. Gouda can be expensive so you can easily swap in mozzarella instead.

Soup Toppings

I recommend trying plain air popped or white cheddar popcorn as shown in the photos! This is a different topping that is easily used for snacking on later so it’s a multi purposeful ingredient. Other toppings I’ve done in the past include croutons, bacon, red pepper flakes, fresh cracked pepper, or a dollop of sour cream.

Serving Suggestions

This soup is great on its own, with a salad or a grilled sandwich. If you want to add protein to it try mixing in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, shredded rotisserie chicken, or sliced kielbasa. Another option is to stir in some cooked noodles for a cheesy pasta soup experience.

Ale Substitutions

If you don’t drink beer and don’t want to cook with it simply add another one and a half cups of broth to this recipe. You can also explore different beers as well and see what flavors and aromas they produce.

Storage

This soup is good in the fridge stored in an airtight container for seven to ten days. I do not recommend you store it with the popcorn on it otherwise the popcorn will become quite soggy.

two turquoise soup and snack bowls with cheddar ale soup topped with popcorn and popcorn on the side

Cheddar Ale Soup

All hale the melty, smooth, cheesy Cheddar Ale Soup! It's a soup packed with nutrients, a can of beer and it will help you learn a base cooking skill of making a roux. I promise it is easier than you think!
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheddar ale soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 154kcal
Author: Jessi Holden, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash you can sub in a can of pumpkin puree instead if you prefer
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (remove the seeds)
  • 2 cups low-sodium broth veggie, chicken, or bone
  • 1 12 oz can of beer
  • 8 oz gouda
  • 4 oz cheddar
  • tsp chipotle cayenne pepper or cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt (or salt and taste as you go!)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive, canola, etc

Optional toppings:

  • Cheddar popcorn for garnish
  • Sour cream or Whole milk plain yogurt for topping
  • Freshly cracked pepper or red pepper flakes on top

Instructions

  • Cook the butternut squash. You have options! I prefer to put the whole squash into a slow cooker (no water needed, just the lid!) on high for 2-3 hours. If you're short on time, use the microwave or roast it in the oven.
  • Make a roux. This may sound intimidating but I promise it's easier than you think and a great cooking skill to master. Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour directly to the pan and use a whisk to mix it into a paste. Pour the milk into the skillet and gently increase the heat to medium high. Constantly whisking as you heat the milk to a simmer. As bubbles form and pop rapidly, keep whisking! Once it's thickened (takes 3-5 minutes) add the shredded cheese and stir/fold to combine.
  • Once your roux is complete, set it to the side and add the diced celery, jalapeno, onion, and garlic to a soup pot with a tablespoon (drizzle) of oil for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the broth, beer, seasonings, Worcestershire, and mustard to the pot. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add in the cooked butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  • Using an immersion blender or standing blender, puree the soup.
  • Once pureed, mix in the roux/cheese mixture and top with sour cream/Whole milk plain Greek yogurt, cheddar popcorn, or extra spice. Enjoy with freshly baked pretzels!

Notes

Did you make this recipe? Send me a photo or better yet, leave a review or give it a rating! You can always tag me on Instagram @the.kitchen.invitation

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 10223IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1mg

Let me know if you try this soup especially if you try the popcorn topping.

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