Smoky Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup
A beautiful creamy beer cheese soup with lovely chunks of broccoli and a nice hint of smoke from smoked paprika and chipotle.
Two of my favorite soups are beer cheese soup and broccoli cheese soup (and yes, cheese being the common theme there), but somehow I never thought to combine them until I was sitting in the waiting room at the dentist. It was my daughter’s dentist appointment and since she’s almost 18, there’s no need for me to go back there with her. I’d taken the afternoon off so (for a change), so I wasn’t trying to get work done at the dentist office. I decided to take this time to browse through the magazines looking for recipe inspiration. And there in one of the magazines (I can’t even recall which one!), was a recipe for Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup.
Huh. I have to admit I always thought that there was not even a remote chance of intersection between these two soups, but this magazine had just thrown it in my face and made me CONSIDER the possibility. And once I’d considered it, well, then I just had to try it. I’ve made many a cheese soup, so it wasn’t hard to come up with a cheesy soup recipe. Add broccoli, yep. And then, at the end, pour in the beer. Mmmm … beer.
I found the combination surprisingly good, but it wanted a little more flavor. So I added some smoked paprika and chipotle powder. And that gave it a beautiful smoky taste that perfectly complimented the beer and the cheese … and yes, even the broccoli. Yes! This is soup perfection.
I used a pale ale (NOT an India Pale Ale) for this soup and I found it gave it just the right amount of beery goodness. If you are not into the flavor of a pale ale, try a lager or wheat bear. If you want a gluten free soup, use a gluten free beer and tapioca flour in place of the flour.
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled & chopped
- 1/4 cup flour (for gluten free, use tapioca flour)
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup of 2% milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or to taste)
- 3 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
- 4 oz. shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 - 10 oz. frozen broccoli florets, thawed and chopped into small bits
- 1/4 cup of beer (for gluten free, use gluten free beer)
- Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a soup pot or large saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and onion and saute until the onion is soft & translucent.
- Sprinkle the flour over and stir to coat the veggies, then add the broth, milk and bay leaf. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens. Remove the bay leaf and put in the blender with the Greek Cream Cheese and the cheddar and blend until smooth.
- Pour the soup mixture back into the pot and stir in the broccoli. Cook until the broccoli is hot, then stir in the beer. Season to taste with Red Robin seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) & freshly ground pepper. Add more paprika or chipotle powder if desired.
- Serve hot, with a bit of extra shredded cheese and perhaps some green onion, ham or bacon for garnish.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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