Michael Smith’s Cheddar & Ale Soup

Ale soup was far from my radar. But then three things happened, in this order:

1) on my flight to (or from?) Vancouver last week I watched Michael Smith, whom I’m going to see in a few days in Jasper, make cheddar and ale soup on the little TV in front of me. It looked good, even though I’m not a beer fan. It reminded me of something we got once upon a time at a pub. That might have been the fantasy me in which I live in London with a rugby player.

2) I met a food writer from the Yukon for lunch yesterday. She brought me, among other things, halloumi cheese made by a blind goat herder, and a bottle of Whitehorse-brewed ale.

3) upon my return home I received an email request for all things warm and cheesy and loaded with carbs for CBC this morning. David asked specifically for cheddar and beer soup, please. He had never had it. All signs pointed to making this.

It was about as easy as it gets – saute the onion, celery and carrot in butter (Michael uses lots), shake some flour over top (mixing it with the veggies and fat prevents lumps) then adding ale, stock and cream and bringing it to a simmer to let it thicken. Then stir in a couple handfuls of grated cheese. Couldn’t possibly be easier. I do wish soup photographed a little better. Tastes better than it looks.

I’ll fill you in on the quick baguette secret tomorrow.

Michael Smith’s Cheddar & Ale Soup

adapted from Michael Smith!

1/2 cup butter (or half butter, half olive or canola oil)
1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup flour
1 bottle dark beer
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy 35% cream (or 18% coffee cream, or half & half)
2 cups grated old cheddar (or aged Gouda!)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
a dash of Worcestershire sauce

In a medium pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until starting to turn golden. Add the celery and carrot and continue to sauté for a few minutes more. Shake the flour overtop and stir to coat the veggies. Add the beer, stock and cream and simmer until the soup has thickened, about five minutes more. Add the grated cheddar, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce and stir until smooth. Serves 4-6.

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November 01 2011 09:27 pm | soup

19 Responses to “Michael Smith’s Cheddar & Ale Soup”

  1. H-woman on 01 Nov 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    YUM! Michael Smith makes good soup–his mushroom soup is literally to DIE for!!

    Must add dark beer & aged gouda (I’m thinking a little Sylvan Star Aged Grizzly would be fabulous) to grocery list…

  2. the other Al on 01 Nov 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Ooooh married to a Rugby player with a bowl of cheese soup! Having hot fuzzy daydreams means winter must definitely be around the corner…

  3. Laurie from Burnaby on 01 Nov 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Looks good. I’ll make it for my son. Thanks :)

  4. Jamie on 01 Nov 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    I’ve had the pleasure of sampling that blind guy’s cheeses, he(Brian Lendrum)sells them at a farmers market in Whitehorse, they are delicious. Here’s an article about him and his sustainable farm in the local newspaper up there.

  5. Nealey @ Dixie Caviar on 02 Nov 2011 at 8:06 am #

    I made cheddar & ale soup for Christmas tree trimming last year. It was delicious, but definitely extremely cheesy. A Once-per-year type soup, for sure.

    Your version looks great as always!

  6. Sue. D on 02 Nov 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Oh wow. Supper for tonight – can’t wait!

  7. Jan @ Family Bites on 02 Nov 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Mmm…I think I know what soup I’ll be making for dinner this weekend.

  8. Sue on 02 Nov 2011 at 10:36 am #

    I Love Michael Smith!

  9. Stacy on 02 Nov 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Michael smith is my favorite chef! I love PEI too. Just wish I could make myself run into him by accident there lol.
    Yummy soup!

  10. molly on 02 Nov 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Say what you will about the photo. I’d eat it right through my screen, would that I could.

  11. Erica B. on 02 Nov 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Love soup; nothing goes better with it than good bread–there’s a distinct lack of good bread out here. Baguette secret pretty pretty please! :)

  12. Brigitte on 08 Nov 2011 at 7:45 am #

    I made it last night and it will be for lunch today. Super easy and fast to make. And, of course, we had a taste….so good. Perfect for a cold day.

  13. Ana Fernández on 15 Nov 2011 at 5:38 am #

    Dear Julie,

    I might try this soup for dinner tonight, however I´ll use Spanish cheese instead cheddar, as I don´t have any other cheese at home and I don´t really have time to go on shopping, though I´m sure it´ll work out as Spanish cheese is so delicious and tasty that it really suits anything.Just have a look at this website and let me know what do you think about it.
    Kind regards


  14. kickpleat on 15 Nov 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Julie, I swear you are cooking everything I want to be eating right now! From the baguettes and brown butter to this soup. I love it all :)

  15. Cooking with Beer for Oktoberfest! | My Family Blog on 03 Oct 2012 at 6:41 am #

    […] pub food – it’s simple to simmer a pot and serve with crusty bread – and a pint! Dinner with Julie has the recipe!/family-kitchen/2012/10/03/cooking-with-beer-for-oktoberfest/#chef-michael-smiths-cheddar-ale-soup […]

  16. mike on 17 Nov 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Just made this recipe…the bitterness of the ale was do strong and unpleasant we just threw it away…we followed the recipe exactly and were disappointed on how we just threw away 15 dollars worth of food…not impressed

  17. Cheddar and Beer Soup | robton on 27 Mar 2013 at 2:35 am #

    […] Cheddar and Beer Soup Yield: 8 entree servings Source: Dinner With Julie […]

  18. The Best Beer and Cheddar I Have Ever Made* | Food and Beer Recipes on 24 Oct 2013 at 9:53 am #

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