Yosemite National Park has some pretty amazing restaurants, and this beer and cheese soup recipe from the Ahwahnee Hotel is one of my favorites. This creamy beer cheese soup is a classic dish, dating back to Jolly Old England.
The Ahwahnee’s recipe uses a premium Fiscalini bandage-wrapped cheddar, but you can substitute your favorite cheddar cheese.
Ahwahnee Hotel’s Beer & Cheese Soup
- 1/4 pound bacon diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic-shallot puree or 2-4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 pound Fiscalini cheddar or your favorite cheddar, grated or diced
- 12 ounce bottle of Sierra Nevada pale ale or your favorite pale ale
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Salt to taste about 1 teaspoon
- Croutons and chive oil for garnish
- Chop semi-frozen bacon for easier prep.
- Heat stock pot on medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Once it becomes crispy, add the butter, let melt, and then add the chopped onion.
- Next, add garlic puree and stir about 3 minutes, until onions are soft. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. This will thicken the soup.
- Cook down about 3 minutes, then add the chicken or vegetable broth, whisking in to prevent lumping.
- Whisk in the heavy cream, then bring mixture to a boil. Drop in bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and mustard. Stir it up and simmer for 20 minutes
- Add the cubed cheese, a little bit at a time, whisking to incorporate it into the soup. You want it to melt down.
- Finally, add the pale ale to the soup, slowly stirring.
- Remove bay leaves, and add the salt and pepper to your taste.
- Ladle into bowls and top with the chive oil and croutons.