Irish Beer Cheese Soup
Irish beer and Irish cheese are the basis of this delicious cold-weather soup and St. Patrick's Day favorite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
- 2 tbsp butter (or bacon drippings)
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced/grated (1½ cups) See Recipe Notes
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced/grated (include a few leaves) See Recipe Notes
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup butter (about 5 T) ~ I use Kerrygold salted butter
- ⅓ cup flour
- 32 oz chicken stock, preferably homemade (4 cups)
- 1 12-oz bottle Irish lager-style beer, like Harp
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 lb Irish cheese, like Dubliner, coarsely shredded (6 cups)
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
- For Garnish: sliced scallions, snipped chives, toasted fresh croutons or bacon crumbles
- Optional: mini sourdough bread bowls for serving
In large enameled cast iron stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter (or bacon grease) over medium heat. Add onion, celery and bay leaf and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add the butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir and cook 1 more minute.
With a wooden spoon or flat whisk, slowly stir in the stock, then the beer, then the milk to combine. Lastly, add the cheese slowly, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high, continue stirring to almost a boil. Reduce heat back down to medium, cook and stir frequently until cheese is mixed in well and melted, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and stir in mustard and Worcestershire; taste for salt. Serve garnished with scallions, chives, croutons and/or crumbled bacon, in a bread bowl, if desired.
- Irish Dubliner cheese is sweet, nutty, grainy and sharp. Any sharp white cheddar will work.
- Using a food processor will get the onion and celery finely chopped, almost mushy, which is what you want for this soup. Roughly chop the onion and celery first, in order to get an even dice in the processor.
- You can use bacon drippings to cook the onions/celery mixture instead of butter (then you'll have bacon crumbles for topping!)