Soup du Jour

After a marathon library research session this morning and another annoying bus delay, I arrived home at 1:00 P.M. determined to make myself beer cheese soup for lunch.

Over an hour later (yikes), it was chow time.

Although I love my mom’s classic recipe, I was determined (with a whiff of snobbery) to make soup without cheese so processed it comes in a jar.  So I tried this recipe from Williams-Sonoma, minus the bacon.

The taste was good– thanks to Sam Adams Irish Red–  but the texture was disappointing.  I whisked the flour furiously and pureed the whole batch in a blender, but I just couldn’t get the cheese to melt completely.  Maybe my problem was buying pre-shredded cheese rather than grating it myself.  Maybe I haven’t found the perfect recipe yet.

Or maybe I just need help.

Cheddar-ale soup with anadama croutons

Adding a bunch of popcorn always helps the texture :)

P.S.  Advice is always welcome.  Just leave a comment!

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8 thoughts on “Soup du Jour

  1. Advice? Come home and make ME soup. Learn how to make Cafe 116’s broccoli cheese soup and I will love you forever. Especially if you make some for me. :)

    • I DO have a really good recipe for broccoli cheese soup. Maybe I’ll make it over Christmas. I’m planning on making Swedish meatball chowda and Bruce Noll’s jambalaya later this week. :)

  2. Hi! I’m not sure what the recipe you used looks like, but the texture could be due to the type of cheese you used… some just don’t melt as well as others. What was the base of the soup? Was it bechamel? Maybe mix a really sharp cheddar for flavor and a melting cheese for the texture…

    • It was sort of a hybrid bechamel… the recipe said to whisk the ale into the flour mixture and then add the milk/broth. I think my problem was the cheese. Good advice. Should I use velveeta next time? Haha, just kidding! :)

  3. #1 — a little processed cheese every so often WON’T kill you! SHEESH! It’s a Weight Watcher’s recipe, for cryin’ out loud! ;-) It’s still REAL cheese, not “fake cheese.” “Pasteurized process cheese is made by grinding & blending one or more natural cheeses of varying strengths, then heating or ‘pasteurizing’ with an emulsifier to stop further ripening & produce cheese of uniform, consistent flavor & texture. When milk solids are added, the cheese becomes pasteurized process cheese food & is softer & easier to spread.” (Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, 1989)

    #2 – “When cooking with cheese, the important thing to remember is that excessive heat & prolonged cooking turns it stringy & leathery. High heat may also cause a mixture of cheese, eggs and milk to curdle. When making a sauce, stir in the cheese toward the end of the cooking time & continue to melt the cheese & blend it smoothly with other ingredients….Cheese melts quickly & evenly & blends readily with other ingredients if it is first shredded or grated. You will find it easier to grate when it is chilled. Pasteurized process cheese products should be diced before use & soft unripened cheese, such as Neufchatel or cream cheese, are best if first allowed to soften at room temperature.” (Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, 1989).

    #3 – I know that when I make fondue, I usually put a little flour in with the grated cheese to coat it before adding it to the mix & melting it. I wonder if this helps it to NOT clump…

    #4 – You soup sure LOOKS yummy!

    #5 – See #1. :-)

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