Alright alright alright. Beer cheese soup, she says.
Beer cheese soup and soft pretzels is gonna change your dinner game this month. And lunch game. And snack game? I don’t know, it’s basically the same as soft pretzels dipped in queso, and that sounds pretty standard for snackage if you ask me.
This Beer Cheese Soup recipe is:
- velvety smooth
- just the right amount of spicy
- smoky like it has bacon, but with no bacon (thank u paprika!)
- not a total nutritional wash, because celery and bell peppers and stuff, right mom?
- but also kind of an awesome splurge – it’s beer cheese soup, for crying out loud.
This soup itself comes together fairly quickly. But I feel it’s my job to be honest with you and the honest truth is that if I were still a teacher instead of a professional food eater, and if I were still getting home from work at 5pm, and if I were still recovering from the woes of the workday, I definitely would not have the energy to make soft pretzels from scratch AND casually whip up a pot of beer cheese soup.
I would suggest one of the following if you’re hoping to enjoy both pretzels and beer cheese soup, but you happen to be strapped for time:
- Make semi-homemade pretzels (directions in the recipe).
- Make the soup the day before.
- Make your pretzels the day before.
- Make both on the weekend. You’ll just have more time. ♡
- Quit your job! WORTH IT.
No, don’t quit your job, okay?
But do try to make your pretzels from scratch. Doesn’t have to be the first time around – maybe make some beer cheese soup a few times first to get comfy with it (no one will ever complain about beer cheese soup as homework) and then, when you’re ready, whip up a batch of soft pretzels as your beer cheese soup side-hustle. I have full faith that you can make this happen and that you will not regret spending a little extra time in the kitchen for these. It is a borderline crime to enjoy one without the other.
But is it even worth talking about or did you just want to dive in headfirst to a luscious bowl of creamy cheese soup? OKAY THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.
This beer cheese soup is creamy, smokey, and velvety smooth – the perfect dunking situation for your soft pretzels.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- half an onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 stalks of celery, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (adds a bacon-like flavor)
- 1 bottle of beer (I used Blue Moon – just a basic wheat beer)
- 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk (high fat milk is better)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot (see notes) over medium high heat. Add the vegetables (onion, garlic, celery, jalapeno, red pepper, smoked paprika). Saute for a few minutes until soft.
- Add half of the beer and all of the broth. Bring to a low simmer.
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 5-ish minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add this butter-and-flour mixture to the simmering soup pot. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes. It should start to thicken. Slowly whisk in the milk and remaining beer. Simmer again for 5-10 minutes until creamy and slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and wait for a few minutes for the soup to cool down slightly. Stir in the cheese until evently melted. Season with salt and pepper. Grab your spoonssss!
Soft Pretzel Options:
We recommend using a heavy pot for best results, like a enamel coated Dutch oven (affiliate link). We made this many times in a stainless steel pot and it always gave us chunky results (the cheese didn’t melt smoothly).
Cheese Clump Warning: Don’t add the cheese to your soup when it’s piping hot. The cheese will not melt smoothly – it will clump up and get gritty. You just have to be gentle with the heat / cheese in order to get it perfectly smooth.
Instant Pot: Cook vegetables, beer, and broth for 10-15 minutes on high pressure. Release steam, turn off heat, and allow the soup to cool for 30 minutes (otherwise you’re gonna get gritty, clumpy cheese). Make your roux on the stovetop. Whisk the roux into the Instant Pot and add the milk and cheese. (This has a differently, slightly less thick texture than the stovetop version. I found when I made this in the Instant Pot that it didn’t really simmer to thicken the base of the soup, so therefore it didn’t need as much liquid. I chose to just omit the other half of the beer, but you could omit some of the broth or milk as well.)