Last week, in an attempt to cheer ourselves up amidst 3 days in a row of rain, my coworkers and I went out to lunch at The Piccadilly a few blocks from our office.  The food was great, especially the beer cheese soup.  So, last night, I tried my best to recreate it and did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.  I wasn’t expecting such great results, so didn’t take any pictures, but here’s the recipe anyway:

1.  Make a rue in a big pot (my enameled cast iron is great for this).  Melt about 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, then add about 2 heaping tablespoons of flour to the butter, stir, and let cook until it doesn’t smell like raw flour and turns a golden brown color.

2.  Add 1 bottle of beer (we had an Oktoberfest in the fridge, but I think a pale would be awesome too) and a cup or so of chicken broth to the flour/butter mixture, keeping the medium heat going.  Bring to a boil until it begins to thicken, then add 1/2 cup to a cup of cream, half and half, or milk (depending on how rich you want your soup to be).

3.  Lower the heat a bit and add 3 cups of cheese (something with a lot of flavor, especially with a darker beer, like the sharp cheddar I used).  Stir together, adding a spice cabinet raid (I used white pepper, mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, and a tiny sprinkling of nutmeg) of whatever sounds good.  Keep stirring until the cheese is incorporated and not stringy.

This recipe made enough for two dinner sized bowlfuls and enough for my lunch today.

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