Beer Week marches on, my friends. This time, we’re featuring a post from my buddy, Lauren, over at Hey, Who Cut The Cheese. Lauren is a fellow Marylander and has the cutest pup, Maeby. Check out her fabulous beery contribution!
Cheeseburger Beer Soup
Hi everyone! I’m Lauren, and I run the blog Hey, who cut the cheese? First, I’d like to thank
Kim for asking me to take part in this blogging event. I was so excited when she asked! I mean,
come on, who wouldn’t want to be asked to cook with beer??
When she asked me to participate in Beer Appreciation Week, I immediately began mulling over
my options. Beer bread? Some kind of cake/cupcake confection made with Guinness? No. I
desired something a little more… cheesy. Not having any go-to cheese/beer recipes on hand, I
began perusing Foodgawker.
When I first came across this recipe, I thought I had to be hallucinating. Cheese + little burgers +
beer? All in the same soup? Thankfully for us, it’s real.
I found this recipe on the blog Soup Addict and have stayed largely true to the original.
1 tbs olive oil
2/3 pound ground beef (or whatever kind of meat you’d like to use)
your favorite hamburger seasonings
1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups cauliflower florets (measure after cutting)
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups half and half
12 oz. beer (use your favorite)
2 cups chicken stock/broth
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8 oz. cheese, shredded (any strongly flavored cheese, or combination of cheeses, will do)
Dijon mustard, to taste (optional)
Toppings (more shredded cheese, croutons, roasted cauliflower florets, etc.; optional)
Begin by mixing your seasonings into the ground meat, being careful not to over mix. Divide
the meat in half and press each half, as thinly as possible without tearing, into equally sized
rectangles. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar onto one meat rectangle. Carefully
position the other rectangle on top, creating a sandwich of sorts. Press firmly to seal the edges.
Place this in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up.
While this is firming up in the freezer, you can either boil or steam your cauliflower. If boiling,
place your florets in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil until the florets
are fork tender. Alternately, if steaming, place the florets in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the
bowl with plastic wrap, cut a small slit in the plastic, and microwave on high for 5 minutes or so.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the meat from the
freezer and cut into small squares (a little smaller than an inch). Fry the little burgers up in two
or more batches. Remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. I ended up keeping mine
warm in a 200 degree F oven between batches.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. I used
my Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until the vegetables begin to
soften. Add the flour and stir well to coat all of the vegetables. Things will look pretty gummy
at this point. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the half and half, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring
constantly to thicken.
Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the beer and stir well until it stops foaming. Add the
chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a boil. Turn the heat back down to medium,
but make sure that the soup continues bubbling away.
Add the cooked cauliflower to the pot. Use your immersion blender to puree everything into a
nice, smooth soup. Alternately, you could process everything in a blender in small batches.
Add the shredded cheese, one small handful at a time. Stir well after each addition. After all of
the cheese has been added, make sure to give it a taste test. Add salt and pepper to taste. At
this point, I felt like it was missing a little something. I added approximately 1-2 tablespoons
of Dijon mustard and mixed it in. Though I’ve marked it down as an optional ingredient, it’s
absolutely essential in my book. It just gives the soup a nice depth of flavor.
Now you can go ahead and add your little cheeseburgers to the soup. Turn the heat to low and
allow it to cook for 10 more minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with your desired toppings. Dig in and enjoy!
Though I was very satisfied with how this soup turned out, you could take a shortcut or two. If
you feel like assembling the little cheeseburgers would be a bit tedious, I think this would be
fantastic with some crumbled sausage. Or you could slice up some of the bratwursts that are
studded with cheese, brown them in a skillet, and add them at the end of the cooking time.
Want to go meat-free? Heck, just omit it all together. In a similar vein, you could obviously use
vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock.
Feel free to use your favorite beer! I ended up using Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, mostly
because it was what we had on hand. It imparted a very nice beeriness (for lack of a better
word) to the soup, without being overpowering.
In a nutshell, this soup is a winner. It is rich and cheesy, and oh so satisfying. I knew that things
had gone well when after taking his first spoonful, my husband turned to me and said, “Honey,
this is awesome.” He was then very quiet throughout the rest of dinner, as he was busy
devouring the remainder of his soup. =)