Spicy Sharp Cheddar Beer Soup

This spicy sharp cheddar beer soup is the perfect cheesy soup you need for cold spring nights. It’s slightly spicy with the addition of fresh jalapeno and pepper jack cheese with just the right splash of beer flavor and sharp cheddar. Perfect when topped with homemade soft pretzel croutons, fresh chives, and crispy bacon.

This post is sponsored by Cabot. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

There is nothing more I love than a big bowl of soup in the winter. Well, actually I’ll happily eat any time of the year BUT it’s especially delicious when it’s cold and snowy. And since winter doesn’t seem to want to go away it’s still cold and it’s still snowy in New York. I’m slightly annoyed because once it hits March all I want is sunny springtime weather where I can open my windows and air out my house. I’m still looking forward to that day.

BUT until that time comes I’m going to enjoy a few more weeks of straight up winter comfort food. In this case, it’s spicy sharp cheddar beer soup. I’ve actually never made beer soup before and was crazy excited when I gave this baby a taste. Super creamy and cheesy with just a hint of spice and a touch of beer flavor. I actually used a random bottle of pilsner for this soup and to be honest it worked perfectly. You don’t want to use something too strong because you’ll end up with a really bitter soup. No one wants bitter soup.

Now, the important thing about this soup is the crazy good cheese I used in it. I used a delicious mix of Cabot pepper jack and Cabot Legacy Collection Farmhouse Reserve cheddar cheese. I have been using Cabot cheese for YEARS and when they reached out this year to team up for a few sponsored posts I replied lighting fast with YESYESYES!!! Ok, maybe I was a slightly more professional but that was the thought I had running through my head.

I used some Cabot pepper jack cheese in this spicy sharp cheddar beer soup because I wanted a slightly spicy twist to the traditional beer cheese soup. PLUS I love that this pepper jack cheese is actually a little spicy. I hate when someone tells me they are bringing pepper jack and it’s mild. Nope. I want spice and I want it NOW! Plus, their Legacy Collection of cheeses are soooooooooo good.

Oh and don’t skip making those delicious little soft pretzel croutons on top. They are so crispy and pair perfectly with the soup.

Looking for even more cheese-filled recipes? Try my cheesy pesto garlic bread, five cheese mac and cheese, broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken, cheesy potatoes or my cheddar sausage cornmeal waffles.

Spicy Sharp Cheddar Beer Soup

This spicy sharp cheddar beer soup is the perfect cheesy soup you need for cold spring nights. It’s slightly spicy with the addition of fresh jalapeno and pepper jack cheese with just the right splash of beer flavor and sharp cheddar. Perfect when topped with homemade soft pretzel croutons, fresh chives, and crispy bacon.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

For soup:

  • 6 thick slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 12 ounces pilsner beer
  • 8 ounces shredded Cabot pepper jack cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded Cabot sharp cheddar cheese
  • Minced fresh chives, for topping
  • Soft pretzel croutons, for topping

For soft pretzel croutons:

  • 4 soft pretzel buns
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

For soup:
In a large soup pot over medium heat add bacon. Cook bacon until crisp and browned. Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate.

Add the butter to the bacon grease and when it’s melted add the onion and jalapeno. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the onions and jalapeño are soft. You’re not looking to brown the onions just soften them.

Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or until the garlic is fragrant.

Sprinkle in the flour and powdered mustard and cook for about 5 minutes or until the flour is thoroughly combined with the onions and slightly browned. You don’t want the mixture to be so dry it’s burning but it will be very thick.

Slowly pour in the chicken stock making sure to stir it in so the flour and onions smoothly incorporate into the liquid. Don’t just dump the liquid into the pot.

After the stock has been incorporated stir in the half and half and beer. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until there are no lumps of flour and the mixture is starting to thicken. It will not be super thick but should start to show signs of getting thicker.

Remove the mixture from the stove and stir or whisk in the cheese. It will take a little time to incorporate the cheese so don’t worry if it looks a little clumpy at first. The cheese will melt and the mixture will become smooth and creamy.

Stir in 3/4 of the crispy bacon and reserve the rest for topping.

To serve soup, sprinkle the top with leftover bacon, minced chives, and soft pretzel croutons.

For soft pretzel croutons:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut soft pretzel rolls in half widthwise and then cut them into 1-inch squares.

In a 12-inch skillet melt down butter and add kosher salt. Remove from heat and add in cut up bread. Toss until butter is soaked into the bread and flavors are evenly distributed over bread.

Spread butter soaked bread onto a silpat (or parchment) lined sheet pan. Bake for about 15 minutes until browned. Toss once or twice during baking to ensure all sides are perfectly toasted.