Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sunday's Soup/A Soup With Options

Little Mr. Berkley has now been with us for 2 weeks. He is the happiest dog I have ever seen. Believe it or not, he actually wags his tail while he sleeps :) What a gift!

Back in May, my husband and I spent 3 days touring around Wisconsin, visiting creameries, and tasting cheese. In my book, heaven! We try to do this about once a year. It's such fun. One of my favorite creameries is Union Star Cheese Factory. It's a family owned business that has been in existence since 1911. They make a 5 year aged cheddar that is my absolute favorite.  

I had given a friend of mine a block of the cheddar. She had thrown away the wrapper, so didn't know where it came from, but wanted to share the information with a friend of hers. So, I looked up the site. While I was there, I noticed that they had a recipe section. I like recipes :) Come to find out, they had a recipe for a Beer Cheese Soup. Now, typically, I would have passed right over the recipe, but what caught my attention was the list of ingredients with all the vegetables. Really?!! I always thought that Beer Cheese Soup was just that, beer and cheese. While I do love cheese, I absolutely hate beer, at least to drink it. But, there are a few recipes where I will use beer. So, I decided to give it a try.

The vegetable ingredients consist of carrots, green pepper, onions, celery, and mushrooms. You can find the recipe HERE.  

Since I had not made the soup, I followed the directions pretty much as written, but with a couple of exceptions. Rather than saute the vegetables in butter, I used 3 tablespoons of olive oil. I also deleted the ham, so mine is a vegetarian version. 

Once the vegetables are tender, but still crisp, flour and cornstarch are added  to thicken the soup. The recipe says to stir the flour/cornstarch into the vegetables and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. You'll find that it seems quite thick at this point.  

Rather than chicken broth, I used a vegetable broth. Milk is also added to the mixture. I decided to use my hand held blender and slightly puree the vegetables. So, they are somewhat pureed, but still have texture. Once the spices have been added, the soup is delicious without the cheese and the beer. So, you could actually stop here and enjoy the soup as is.   

I added the cheese and only 1/2 cup of the beer. 1/2 cup of the beer blended nicely into the soup, an entire cup, in my opinion would have been too much.

What I ended up with was a velvety smooth, delicious soup.

Union Star does have a mail order service, but they only ship cheese from October-April. I sent some to a friend of mine who now lives in Galveston, Texas, but grew up in northern Wisconsin. She said that it tasted like home. Their 5 year aged cheddar crumbles when sliced and has a true sharp cheddar taste. Delicious!

Even if you can't get the Union Star Cheese, get a really good sharp cheddar from your grocer and give the soup a try. A wonderful treat! Just in case you missed it, you can find the recipe HERE :)    

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  1. sounds great, just the sort of veggies that I like in recipes.

    1. I thought it was quite good. And then, if you want a non-vegetarian version, just add the ham!

  2. That sounds delicious - I haven't used beer in soup. Living in the uk I'm sure I can find a suitable alternative to your recommended cheddar. We have a fabulous cave aged version which is local and downright fabulous!
    So pleased to hear about the pup settling in so well 😃

    1. I forgot that you met Little Bit! You would love Berkley. Such a sweetheart ❤️ Took him to be neutered this morning. Broke my heart to leave him.
      The cheese you described sounds perfect! I think you’ll enjoy the taste of adding the beer to the soup. Put in 1/2 cup, and then decide if you might like a little more. I think the “management” will love it. After I made the soup, I had an idea to use the soup as basically a cream sauce for a macaroni and cheese casserole. I think it will be delicious 😋
      Oh, and the management would probably enjoy the addition of the ham 😊 My management has learned to live without it, poor guy 😢