Delightful fall flavors are brought forward in this tangy, roux-based Beer Cheese Soup! Spicy jalapeño and crisp lager offer brightness alongside the richness of the smoky, sharp cheeses. Homemade dark rye croutons, crispy bacon, and crunchy green onions bring this classic pub food home and into the spotlight!
- 1/2 lb thick-cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus 1/3 cup butter
- 4 cups dark rye bread (such as pumpernickel), cubed into 1″ cubes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely minced
- 1/3 cup flour
- 12 oz beer (lager or pilsner)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 6 oz sharp white cheddar cheese
- 6 oz smoked cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Green onion, sliced, for topping
- In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Use tongs to remove bacon, (keeping the drippings in the pot), and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool enough to handle, cut or crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
- Add the onion, celery, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeño to the Dutch oven and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5-8 minutes. (Depending on the amount of bacon grease left, you may need to add a tablespoon of butter.)
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1/3 cup butter to the vegetables, stirring until melted. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring frequently until the flour mixture begins to turn golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the beer and cook until the mixture is thick and the beer has been incorporated. Slowly add the chicken stock, whole milk, half-and-half, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine.
- Bring the soup to a low simmer and sprinkle in the grated cheeses, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until fully melted. Stir in the salt and pepper, adding additional amounts to taste.
- In a large sauté pan over medium low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the cubed pumpernickel bread and sprinkle with the thyme and garlic salt. Toss occasionally until croutons are warm and toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Ladle the beer cheese soup into bowls and top with bacon, pumpernickel croutons, and sliced green onions. Dig in!