Cheddar Broccoli Soup to Warm the Soul

With a splash of beer, this soup recipe shows off the best of Wisconsin

PHOTO BY MARTHA BUSSE

Cheese, vegetables, beer ... what more could you want in a soup?

Take something as simple as cheesy potato soup and add a little bit of Wisconsin to it—a chunk of aged cheddar, a splash of Wisconsin beer—and you end up with a meal that is hearty, warm and delicious. I always make variations on the basic soup recipe, adding (or hiding) veggies for the kids, substituting wine for beer or perhaps throwing in some herbs I have on hand. Regardless, the overall result is a delicious, creamy soup that my entire family loves to eat anytime. This rendition features leeks, broccoli and a medium white cheddar. And beer, of course! Ready in under an hour, this soup is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

RECIPE: Cheddar Broccoli Soup

INGREDIENTS

4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
White center stalk of 1 leek, sliced
4 large yellow potatoes (waxy), peeled and diced
6–8 cups water or stock
1 cup chopped broccoli florets
1 clove garlic, finely minced
6 oz Wisconsin ale 
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated white medium cheddar cheese, loosely packed
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh bread

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in 12-quart stockpot over medium-low heat. Add onion, stirring occasionally, and let soften about 5 minutes. Add leek and sauté another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until soft. Be careful not to burn leeks. Put potato chunks in pot with 6 cups stock or water (or enough to cover the potatoes), broccoli and garlic. Partially cover, bringing to a simmer. Simmer about 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Using an immersion blender, process soup until it is fairly smooth. (Note: You can use a regular blender, but be sure to remove the plastic insert in the lid and cover that hole with a clean cloth to prevent hot soup from exploding out of the blender.) Add ale and a bit more stock, depending on your desired thickness, and cook about 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and add cream and grated cheese. Blend again until cheese is melted into soup. Add salt and fresh pepper to taste. Serve warm with fresh bread.

Serves 8.

Find more Dining In recipes and Cassidy’s blog, Local Flavor, at madisonmagazine.com.

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