Irish Beer Cheese Soup: This is a deliciously thick soup with beer and cheddar cheese topped with spring onion and crispy bacon, ready in just 30 minutes which is also a winner in my opinion.
Cheese and booze, what's not to love? It's soup season and this Irish beer cheese soup is a winner if you like rich and decadent food with nutty flavors and warm, cozy vibes.
I developed this recipe whilst in the mountains above Big Bear Lake in California and it has a real apres-ski vibe to it, I can imagine getting back from a day on the slopes and slurping it up hot and steaming from the bowl.
I served my Irish cheesy beer soup with freshly baked German pretzels from the local deli, and they complimented this flavorful soup perfectly but a crusty roll will do just as well. Or even brioche, to get that sweetness from the glaze that works so well with the cheesy taste. You don't need an immersion blender for this recipe, it's a one-pot soup and is pretty fool proof!
This Irish beer cheese soup is perfect in cold weather, a cozy soup for winter.
I have a real thing for soup, and you can check out all my other soup recipes here.
This beer and cheese soup recipe is pretty simple but as always, get your ducks in s row by measuring out your ingredients first and making sure you have them all ready and waiting to go.
- Beer: I used Irish lager but you are welcome to use any kind of beer or what you currently have in your fridge.
- Cheese: I love cheddar whenever I'm making soup with cheese. It melts well in soup. Irish cheddar or sharp cheddar are also excellent choices, as they melt well and impart a robust, tangy flavor. You can also experiment with other varieties like Gruyere or Swiss to add complexity.
- Broth or Stock: The choice of broth or stock will contribute to the overall taste of the soup. I went with chicken broth but vegetable broth or stock works well too. If using store-bought broth, opt for low-sodium varieties to have better control over the soup's seasoning.
- Cream: Full-fat double cream in this Irish beer cheese soup lends a luxurious and velvety texture. Heavy cream or whipping cream is ideal for achieving the desired richness. If you prefer a lighter option, you can use half-and-half or a combination of milk and cream.
- Onion: I am a lover of shallot but maybe that's because I grow them in my garden. In this recipe I decided to take a break and use white onion instead. A finely diced onion adds savory sweetness and depth to the soup's flavor profile.
- Flour: all-purpose flour (or plain flour) is used as a thickening agent in the soup. It helps create a creamy and slightly thick consistency. When adding flour, it's crucial to cook it with the onions and butter to create a roux, which ensures a smooth texture and prevents any lumps from forming.
- Bacon: Crispy bacon adds a delightful smoky and savory note to the Irish beer cheese soup. Cook the bacon until crispy, then crumble or chop it into small pieces. You can either sprinkle it on top as a garnish or incorporate it into the soup during cooking for added flavor.
- Butter: Butter is used for sautéing the onions and creating the roux. It also adds richness and enhances the overall taste of the soup. Choose unsalted butter to have better control over the soup's seasoning.
- Seasoning: I used mustard powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and freshly ground black pepper (optional).
- Spring onion/green onions for garnishing.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities.
How to make Irish beer cheese soup
- Cut the bacon into 1cm strips using scissors or a sharp knife and dice the onion.
Hint: To make the bacon easier to cut, put it in the freeze for five minutes beforehand
2. Place the bacon strips in a Dutch oven casserole pot or soup pot and turn on to medium heat, allowing the meat to heat up at the same rate as the pot, rendering the bacon grease nicely.
3. Once the bacon is crispy, remove it to a plate lined with kitchen paper using a slotted spoon.
4. Add more butter to the pot, and then the onions.
5. Cook the onion in the butter and bacon fat, and once they are softened, sprinkle flour, whisking it into the butter to avoid lumps.
6. Pour in the beer, whisking all the while, and then bring to a simmer and leave for five minutes to cook off the alcohol.
7. Stir through the chicken broth and then the mustard and cayenne pepper. Allow the flavors to incorporate for a further five minutes.
8. Now add the cream, and once it is back at the simmering point, turn off the heat.
9. Gradually add the shredded cheddar cheese, allowing it to melt, and incorporate it into the soup. Once all the cheese is added, turn the heat back on and gently bring back up the temperature but do not allow it to boil.
10. Warm your pretzels or bread in the oven and serve the soup in bowls topped with bacon and spring onion.
This Irish beer cheese soup pairs beautifully with various accompaniments, allowing you to customize your dining experience.
- Serve it with homemade croutons for an added crunch and texture.
- For a whimsical touch, consider serving the Irish beer cheddar soup in sourdough bread bowls, allowing the creamy soup to soak into the bread, creating a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
Serve beer! A hoppy West Coast IPA or an English Ale would pair wonderfully. If you are set on wine, then try a dry Reisling or a Grüner Veltliner.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can change up this cheddar beer soup recipe to suit you or put your own twist on it.
- Cheese - I used sharp cheddar cheese in my soup, but you could try other cheeses like gruyere or gouda
- Beer - try this with pale ale, Irish ale, or even wine or vermouth to change it up!
- Spice - if you want even more of a kick, add more cayenne pepper or stir in extra mustard to give it a spicy perspective.
I love using one of my enameled dutch oven casserole pots to make soup, as the heat distribution is marvelous. You can also use a large saucepan if that's what you have,
Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat gently when you want to eat it. It will be fine for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Don't buy ready-grated cheese - it is coated with a chemical that prevents it from clogging together in the packet, and this also stops it from melting properly, leaving you with lumpy soup.
Yes, when you cook the beer in the soup, the alcohol content reduces significantly. The cooking process allows the alcohol to evaporate, leaving behind the flavor and aroma of the beer without the alcoholic content. This ensures that the soup retains the rich and distinctive taste of the beer while being suitable for all ages.
The best cheese to melt in soup for beer cheese soup, Irish cheddar is a popular choice due to its sharp and tangy flavor. It melts smoothly and adds richness to the soup. However, other cheeses like Gruyere, Swiss, or a combination of cheeses can also work well; experimenting with different cheese varieties allows you to customize the taste to your liking and create a perfect cheese melt in your soup.
Beer adds a unique depth of flavor to soups. The malty, hoppy, or rich characteristics of different beers can enhance the overall taste of the soup. In the case of beer cheese soup, the beer contributes a distinct savory note that complements the richness of the cheese and creates a blend of flavors. It adds complexity and a unique twist to the soup, making it more flavorful and enjoyable.
More Cozy Soups recipes
Irish beer Cheesy soup
- Dutch oven
- 6 rashers bacon
- 1 white onion diced
- 350 ml lager
- 200 ml double cream
- 350 ml chicken broth
- 400 grams cheddar cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 20 grams butter
- 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoon spring onion
- 4 soft pretzels
- Place the bacon strips in a dutch oven casserole pot and turn the heat on to medium, allowing the meat to heat up at the same rate as the pot, rendering the fat nicely.
- Once the bacon is crispy, remove it to a plate using a slotted spoon.
- Add more butter to the pot, and then the onions.
- Cook the onion in the butter and bacon fat, and once they are softened, add the flour, whisking it into the butter to avoid lumps.
- Pour in the beer, whisking all the while, and then bring to a simmer and leave for five minutes to cook off the alcohol.
- Stir through the chicken broth, and then the mustard and cayenne pepper. Allow the flavours to incorporate for a further five minutes.
- Now add the cream, and once it is back at the simmering point, turn off the heat.
- Gradually add the grated cheddar cheese, allowing it to melt and incorporate into the soup. Once all the cheese is added, turn the heat back on and gently bring back up the temperature but do not allow it to boil.
- Warm your pretzels or bread in the oven and serve the soup in bowls topped with bacon and spring onion.
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