Beer Cheese soup should be creamy and not grainy, with an intense cheddar flavor balanced with mild hoppy flavors from an American lager. This recipe is simple, using two kinds of cheeses that results in a smooth textured soup. I topped our soup with popcorn, but would happily settle with a soft pretzel for dipping.
I think this soup would be exceptionally perfect to serve as a shooter at a cocktail party, or as an amuse bouche to get your taste buds ready at a dinner party.
4 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 carrots, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth (I like to use water mixed with Better than Bouillon or homemade)
1 12-ounce can of beer (American lager or beer of your choosing)
2 cups whole milk
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated by hand
1 cup American cheese, grated by hand (Go to the deli counter for a 4 ounce block instead of buying pre-sliced or shredded cheese, then pop in freezer for 15 minutes to make shredding easier )
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Kosher salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion and carrots until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for another minute.
Slowly whisk in broth, beer, and milk. Bring mixture to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently, keeping the temperature low enough that it does not boil. Maintain this low simmer until the carrots are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the shredded cheeses with the cornstarch in a large bowl until well combined.
Puree the soup using a stick blender until completely smooth. Whisk in the shredded cheese one handful at a time, until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with popcorn sprinkled on top. The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days and reheats beautifully.