Wisconsin Cheese and Beer Soup

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion, 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup celery, 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup red bell pepper, 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beer (12-ounce bottle)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 1/3 cups kielbasa sausage, 1/4 inch dice
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

  1. heat the butter over medium heat; add the onion, celery, and red bell pepper and cook 4 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the flour; whisk in to make a roux. Add the seasonings and cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add the beer and stock; stir vigorously to dissolve the roux, then simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. heat the milk separately and add to the soup.
  5. Saute and render the fat our of the sausage. Remove, drain on paper towels, then add sausage to the soup. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove form the heat and stir in the grated cheese until smooth.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. garnish with the green onions when serving.

Chef: sausage garnish on top is good, shows the customer what to expect. It's good to have the contrast of the meat; large pieces for garnish with nice coloring and smaller pieces to blend with the soup. The bowl was too hot to serve a cheese soup in and it began to break.

Personal/Team: Beer used in class was PBR, I think a rich ale would have been better to get the beer flavor more, but overall it was still tasty.

Lesson Learned: For a cheese soup, you need to be mindful of the heat. You need to add the cheese after it cools down to 140-160F, or the fat will separate in the cheese and it will break. After adding cheese and incorporating into soup, don't serve in a hot bowl, or it can break. Serve in a bowl at 200F (warm, but not as hot as a normal soup bowl).