Recipe: Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

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To forewarn all those who cook this recipe – yes, there are A LOT of ingredients however, this soup is easy to make and well worth every last victory bite at the end. I even suggest dipping some homemade Bacon Cheese Jalapeno Beer Bread into your warm, spicy fall flavored soup. The pumpkin spice from the seasonal beer with the pumpkin puree and nutmeg make this soup burst with flavors every sip taken. The soup is great for storage when you’re feeling like a hot cup of heart-warming soup and makes for a great starter for guests. Although I highly suggest saving this one for yourself and family to huddle over and enjoy the start of Autumn. The croutons are a much needed crunch element to this dish but if you don’t have the time to make these at home, no one will judge you for throwing a few pre-made croutons on top. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced thyme
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle pumpkin ale
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (low-fat works too)
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Croutons:
  • 1 cup diced sourdough bread
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon melted salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  

Instructions

  1. Pour oil into a medium pot and place over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until onions and leeks become translucent. Add garlic, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes and stir in 2 tablespoons thyme. Add beer and broth and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetable mixture is fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In another medium pot melt butter. Whisk in sifted flour to create a roux and continue to whisk for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in milk until no lumps remaining and mixture thickens. Stir in pumpkin puree until smooth. Toss cheese together with lemon juice before stirring into the milk mixture. Stir until cheese sauce is smooth. Stir in remaining spices.
  4. Pour cheese mixture and broth mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture back into a pot and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until soup thickens slightly. Stir in remaining thyme and adjust seasonings.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and top with buttered croutons. Enjoy!
  6. For croutons: Place all ingredients into a bowl and toss together until evenly coated. Pour croutons into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Toast croutons for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool and crisp. Set aside until ready to use.