Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beer Cheese Tomato Soup Recipe

When it comes to soup, tomato is my favorite. Before your mind jumps to visions of cans and concentrates, allow me to explain. Homemade tomato soup with fresh spices, splashes of balsamic vinegar and wines, and olive oil is my favorite.

I love it straight with basil, but sometimes I like to get fancy.

Enter beer cheese.

Okay, so maybe it’s not fancy, but it is a Kentucky staple. There is even a festival at which I had the opportunity to judge the competition last year. 

If you are unfamiliar, there are as many recipes as people who love it. But to simplify, it is cheddar and beer turned cheese spread.

I’ve grown to love it, and I can no longer imagine a tailgate at a football game or at the horse track without it.

So when I was thinking about tomato soup for this round of the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, I first considered beer. Then I considered cheddar. Then, well, why not?

This recipe experiment is a winner. The mild tang of beer and the sharpness of cheddar pop with the sweet tomatoes. I may no longer be able to have tomato soup without beer cheese again!

Beer Cheese Tomato Soup Recipe

Basic Beer Cheese
4 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/8 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
¼ cup beer

Tomato Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 lbs tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

In a small food processor, add the cheese, 1/8 cup onion, 1 clove garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Pulse until the ingredients are blended. Pour in the beer and continue to pulse until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Set aside.

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high, and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onions soften. Add the tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.

Once the tomatoes begin to break down, remove the pot from the heat. Use an immersion blender, or transfer in batches to a blender. Puree until smooth. 

Stir in the basil, sugar and red pepper. Add the salt and pepper. Return to the heat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beer cheese. Serve warm. Makes 4-6 servings. 

Come share in the tomato love at the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day, sponsored this week by Le Creuset.  Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.


Candy said...

Lori, you are a freaking genius!

Tomato soup has always been one of my favorites, the canned variety, and I ate vats of it growing up and it got me through my pregnancy when I could stomach little else. I have matured and now make tomato soup from scratch but would have never thought to add beer cheese. Now I can think of little else!

Caroline said...

I had a strawberry cold soup that was delicious!This recipe looks delicious too :)

Jen @ Savory Simple said...

This soup sounds so decadent! Pinned to try :)

Lori said...

Candy - Ha! You are too kind. ;) I'm so glad you like it!

Caroline - Thanks, I enjoy strawberry soup too.

Jen - Thanks so much for pinning! Hope you like it!

emily (a nutritionist eats) said...

So I'm from Wisconsin and I'm not sure that I've ever had beer cheese...must make asap! It sounds like the perfect topping for tomato soup!

Ruth Martins said...

So creative! The contrast of flavours really intrigues me. I need to try this too!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

HOLY crap that looks good! I love tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

First time know beer cheese, sound interesting and good .

Lori said...

emily - It really is good. There are a lot of great recipes out there. Some people use a lot of cream cheese and processed cheese food (not thanks :)), but you can find plenty of using real cheddar as well.

Ruth - Thanks!

Michelle - Thanks so much! I really didn't think about it, but it's kind of a combo of those two too!

Sonia - It is a good party snack!

MelindaRD said...

Cool! I have never heard of beer cheese, but it sounds really yummy! I love tomato soup too. We usually do it with grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.

Reeni said...

What a way to perk up tomato soup! The combination sounds amazing together! I like the way you think.

Joanne said...

It's like you're reading my mind. I've been craving a good hearty tomato soup lately and this is most certainly IT.

Cassie/Bake Your Day said...

So glad you shared this one Lori. I love beer cheese soup, the addition of tomato is totally brilliant. Just beautiful!