Cheddar and Bratwurst Soup with Pumpkin Ale ~ a classic fall soup with a light boozy broth, cheddar cheese, plenty of chunky veggies, and perfectly grilled brats!
Comforting and cozy doesn’t begin to describe this soup. It’s warm, cheesy, malty, smokey, grassy, thick, earthy and yummy.
I’m loving cooking with beer lately. I’m so impressed with how the flavor lingers in dishes like stews and soups, even after long cooking. And how many times have you passed by Pumpkin Ale and wondered about it? Ale brewed with pumpkins isn’t a trendy the new idea— it goes back to colonial times, and those guys knocked back quite a bit of it, along with lots of hard cider. Nowadays brewers sometimes add a hint of fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove to these seasonal beers. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t actually taste like pumpkin.) I chose to use Blue Moon, which happens to be the winner of last week’s ABC News Pumpkin Ale taste test.
The ale, caraway seeds, bratwurst, sharp cheddar and dill make for lots of layers of flavor in this soup.
This soup is adapted from The Maine Food and Lifestyle blog.
- 4 uncooked bratwurst sausages
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- I medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 12 oz bottle pumpkin ale (I used Blue Moon)
- 32 oz box of chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 cups (about 8 oz) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- big handful chopped fresh dill
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Brown the bratwurst on all sides. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan, cover, and steam the sausages for about 15 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the cover and let any excess moisture boil away. Remove the sausages and set aside.
- Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and saute the onion, carrots and caraway seeds for about 10 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
- Sprinkle in the four and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the beer, chicken stock, and water, whisking to combine the flour and liquid. Add in the potatoes and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are cooked but not mushy.
- Remove the bay leaves and add the Worcestershire sauce, half and half, mustard, salt and pepper.
- At this point I took my immersion blender and blended the soup briefly, so it was thickened but there were still whole veggies left. If you don't have a stick blender you can take part of the soup out and blend it in a blender or food processor. You can just leave it chunky if you want to as well.
- Slice the sausages on a slant and add them to the pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer, then take it off the heat to slowly add in the cheese, stirring until the cheese has completely melted and the soup is smooth. Sprinkle in the dill just before serving.