Recipe by Zook and Lola
A cheesy, Wisconsin winter soup utilizing local beer. As with any recipe there are hundreds or thousands of variations on this basic recipe. We set this cheese/beer/brat soup apart from others with a couple primary distinctions. Being a beer nerd, when I add beer to a recipe I consider the style of beer seriously. To me beer is not just whatever you happen to have in the cooler/fridge etc. Here we've slected a locally available pale ale from Ale Asylum in Madison, WI. It lends some great color to the soup and the prominent hop presence in this ale adds a great flavor without being overwhelming. To replicate this recipe without Ale Asylum's Hopalicious you can substitute any quality pale ale or IPA. Ask your local specialty retailer for tips or look for anything with "pale ale" or "IPA" on the bottle. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is probably the most widely available and is a suitable substitute. If you've any other questions, feel free to ask! Secondly, the brats. Brats should be cooked ahead of time in 12 ounces of the same beer that is being used in the soup. We typically cook our brats in a pan with beer and most of a whole onion until they're just cooked through then I throw them on my Big Green Egg and, using only natural lump charcoal WITHOUT lighter fluid, brown them gently. Then slice and quarter as per the recipe. Fianlly, I can't recommend enough that fresh ingredients be used whenever possible, especially the fresh-pressed garlic and fresh ground black peppers. Cheers!
Top Review by DungeonDeb
Delicious! I had to make it with Sam Adams Brown Ale instead of the recommended brew because I live in Orlando, not Wisconsin, and I used kielbasa instead of brats, but I cooked them the same way. I will definitely make this again :)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1 cup carrot, sliced
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 6 medium yukon gold potatoes, Cubed
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer (Hopalicious by Ale Asylum, or equivalent pale ale or IPA, see recipe description)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 3 -4 garlic cloves, freshly pressed (or equivalent powder)
- fresh ground black pepper (we use lots)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 cup half-and-half (or milk)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 cooked bratwursts, sliced and quartered (cooked in beer and grilled, see recipe description)
Directions See How It's Made
- I know the "Recipe Desription" is long, but please read my notes on the beer and brats. It makes a tremendous difference in the finished product.
- Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat.
- add onion, clerey and carrots and cook about 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionaly.
- stir in flour and cook for a minute.
- Add potatoes, stock and beer and boil 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Add mustard powder, garlic and black and cayenne peppers.
- Combine milk and worcestershire in small bowl and stir into soup.
- Remove soup from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
- Remove two cups of mixutre, puree in blender or food processor, and return to soup.
- Return soup to low heat and add bratwurst, cooking until heated through, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Serve with warm, crusty bread, maybe with some softened garlic butter, and, of course, a glass of the beer you used in preparation.
- Send me a note and let me know what you thought!