Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese Soup with bacon, peppers in a bowl with pretzel rolls and a spoon
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Beer, cheese, soup—three of the greatest things on earth, together at last in one recipe. Thanks, Midwest! 

Creamy, Cheesy, Bacon-y Comfort Food.  

Cheese soup is not healthy. Not for a second. But it is all-American cheesy comfort food, and worth every last indulgent bite. We’ve pulled out all of the stops for this one. Our beer cheese soup gets its melty, creamy-with-a-kick perfect from not one but three kinds of cheese,  a good dose of smoky bacon, jalapeno for kick, and heavy cream for silkiness. Imagine tucking into a bowl of steaming hot, freshly made beer cheese soup after a long day of playing in the snow (or in our case, a Pacific Northwest downpour)—did you know that soup could be hearty and rib-sticking? Well, you do now.

Thanks, Wisconsin! 

We’d just like to say thanks to Wisconsin, the supposed birth place of beer cheese soup, for giving the American people a food that so purely expresses our love for cheese. If you’ve ever wished it was socially acceptable to just eat melted cheese on its own, this is the soup for you. Essentially, beer cheese soup is just a riff on Beer Cheese Dip that you can eat with a spoon—no dipping needed. Because this soup is a celebration of cheese, we’re really going all out. While you could make this a cheddar beer soup, we like it better with a variety of cheeses: 

  • Sharp cheddar cheese. Salty and assertive, sharp cheddar gives the soup a zippy cheese flavor and its sharpness doesn’t get lost in the creamy soup base. 
  • Medium cheddar cheese. Milky and mild, we add medium cheddar for the sunny color that it gives to the soup, as well as its flavor. 
  • Pepper Jack cheese. We’re pepperheads (in case you hadn’t noticed) so we just had to throw in a little pepper Jack. Plus, Monterey Jack is an exceptionally good melting cheese. Plus you can snack on it while you grate the cheese—obviously a bonus. 

The Best Beer Cheese Soup, IMHO

Since we’re not from the midwest, it feels a little wrong to say that ours is the BEST beer cheese soup recipe out there. But then again, if we really do feel that way—and honestly, we do—isn’t it in the best interest of beer cheese soup lovers that we share our recipe?! What a dilemma. 

How about this? We’ll just tell you that this is our very favorite way to make beer cheese soup? We can promise that’s true for sure. We’ve already talked about the cheeses you’ll need to make this easy beer cheese soup. We’ll walk you through the rest of the ingredients that make this soup recipe so very good: 

  • Bacon. Clearly this makes everything better. 
  • Onion
  • Peppers, including a jalapeño. The little spark of chili pepper heat helps to cut through the richness of the cheese soup and is really welcome amidst all of that fat. If you don’t want too much heat, try half a jalapeño, and be sure to scrape out the seeds before adding it to the pot. 
  • Stock. 
  • Beer! We like to use a pilsner—whatever you choose, you definitely want something light in color. 
beer cheese soup with bacon, jalapeño, and green onions in a soup pot

How to Make Beer Cheese Soup

In just about 20 minutes, you’ll be digging into big bowls—bread bowls, if you’re feeling fancy—of luscious beer cheese goodness. Here’s how to make this easy beer cheese soup: 

  1. Cook the bacon. Once it’s nice and crispy, carefully remove the bacon from the pan. BUT! Leave about a tablespoon of the rendered fat in the pan to serve as the base for the next step. 
  2. Sauté the onion and peppers in the fat, along with a little thyme. 
  3. Add butter to this mixture and, once it has melted, stir in some flour to make a roux. This flour-fat mixture (the roux) is an important part of creating a base for a creamy soup like this. Once it’s cooked a bit—you want to cook the rawness out of the flour—move on to the next step. 
  4. Liquid time! Pour in the beer first, then the stock and cream. 
  5. Cheese time! Now that the beer soup base has been created, you’re ready to add all of your cheeses. Stir constantly as you add the cheese, and add it slowly. This will ensure that it melts and gets evenly distributed.
  6. Serve! Stir in the bacon, and serve garnished with—you guessed it—even more bacon! 
Beer Cheese Soup with bacon, peppers in a bowl with green onions

Tools You’ll Need: 

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Soup weather is our fave. 

Beer Cheese Soup with bacon, peppers in a bowl with pretzel rolls and a spoon

Soup is All You Need. 

When it’s beer cheese soup, that is! Comfort in a bowl is what we’re all about. Snap a photo of your cheddar beer soup and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Beer Cheese Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

½ lb bacon, cut into ⅓ inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup flour
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups pilsner beer
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz medium cheddar cheese, shredded
2 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
chives, optional
flat leaf parsley, optional

Method

  1. In a large sauce pan or soup pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until bacon is crispy, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Drain off all but 1-2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and thyme and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the butter, stirring until completely melted.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir until the flour is fully incorporated. After the flour is incorporated add the beer, stirring constantly until it the mixture thickens.
  5. Slowly add the chicken stock and cream and stir until completely combined. Bring to a low simmer.
  6. Add the grated cheese a handful at a time until melted.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste and add in half of the cooked bacon.
  8. Garnish with additional bacon, chives or flat leaf parsley if desired.