Smoky Beer, Bacon & Cheese Soup
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 4 servings
I’ve heard Cajun chefs call onion, celery and bell peppers the “holy trinity” of cooking. (Looking at you, Emeril.) If I had to pick my trinity, it would be: homebrew, bacon and cheese. Preferably with a bit of spice, like this soup recipe...which is about as close to heaven-on-earth as it gets.
- 1/2 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into ⅓-inch dice
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced, or more to taste
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp chopped thyme
- 12 oz Nut Brown Ale or your favorite Brown Ale
- 2¼ + ¼ cups chicken broth
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Add the celery, onion, chipotle, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes.
- Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add 2¼ cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
- In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheese and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the reserved bacon and season with salt, pepper and remaining spices. Add more broth if the soup is too thick.
About the ChefCraig Blum
Long before I was a brewer, I started out as a restaurant line cook and then worked my way all the way up to Executive Chef. So great beer AND great food are never far from my mind. I don’t miss the frantic pace of the restaurant world. But I do love taking what I learned there and putting my own homebrew spin on it. The best of both worlds!