Thursday, November 5, 2009

Otto's Beer Cheese Soup

Wednesday was soup day at Almost Heaven South and it was Otto’s Beer Cheese soup from Otto's Sausage Kitchen and Meat Market in Portland, Oregon, link via the Food Network. The recipe is as follows:

· 1/2 cup butter
· 1 chopped medium sized yellow onion
· At least 1/2 cup chopped carrot
· At least 1/2 cup chopped celery
· 1 cup all-purpose flour
· 2 cups chicken broth
· 1 (12-ounce) beer of choice (recommended: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Blind Pig)
· 7 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, shredded
· 7 ounces processed Swiss cheese , shredded
· 2 cups half-and-half
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
· 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
· 1 pound smoked sausage (recommended: Otto's Smoked Polish Ring)

Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until softened. Add flour. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth and beer. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add half-and-half, salt, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened. Cut smoked sausage into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a saucepan. Saute sausage over medium heat until heated through. It will probably take about 5 to 7 minutes. Add sausage to the soup, transfer to a large serving bowl and serve hot.

We made a triple recipe and since I had 1½ pounds of homemade Czech sausage, I used it and two pounds of kielbasa. We had some Guggisberg Baby Swiss in the fridge, so I used it in lieu of the processed Swiss. Guggisberg is the originator of baby Swiss cheese and we really like it. See the link for the history and other info - Link. We also had some homemade chicken broth in the freezer which I used – when I BBQ chicken, especially wings, I end up with lots of chicken pieces with which to make broth. We make it rich, then cut with water at time of use – don’t use as much freezer space this way. Also, just happened to have the recommended beer in the fridge – one of my favorites.
This is a shot of the main ingredients.

The cut up sausages.

Sauteing the Mirepoix - showing off my culinary knowledge (actually had to look it up, after hearing Emeril use the word).

Ready for the sausages.

Sauteing the sausages.

My bowl full.

I would rate this recipe pretty good, as written, as it’s not as flavorful as I expected – but that’s my taste. If I were to make it again, I’d cut the sausage smaller to ensure it is well distributed throughout the soup, let it set an hour or so to get the sausage flavor infused and add just a little hot sauce, which I did to my bowl with a little sirracha. At that point, I’d call it real good – I will make it again but with the revisions. Either sausage worked well, but I preferred the Czech as it was more flavorable. One of the things I strive to do is always give an opinion of the recipes we share – realizing that all of our taste’s vary.

Stuffed Peppers
My plan was to have stuffed peppers later in the week and soup Wednesday, but Bev’s plan was to have the peppers Wed. – a little communication snafu. So while I was making the soup, Bev was busy making the peppers – using some of our garden peppers. In my opinion, green peppers are not one of those veggies where homegrown is better tasting than store bought – but they are a lot cheaper. And since we have some, we need to put them to good use. For the stuffing, she used her meatloaf recipe (from her head) and added some cooked rice. For a glaze she mixed up some ketchup, Worcestershire, and balsamic vinegar – she’d seen Bobby Flay make something similar a while back (like I’ve said, she’s the family chef).

Here’s a pic of them ready for the oven. Since the peppers were small, they ended up being more of a mini meatloaf sitting on a chunk of pepper, but the taste was the same.

Out of the oven and ready to dig in

My plate. She usually just puts ketchup on top but I liked this glaze - it was more like a BBQ sauce.

Have a great one.


  1. Oh my that is the best cheese soup I have ever seen

  2. Beer cheese soup is our absolute hands down favorite soup. European Street Cafe in Jacksonville, FL is where I first had it. I've copied theirs from memory and the owner told me I was very close but that mine actually looked better the the actual recipe!

    You have confirmed my thought that some added meat would be good. I agree, smaller on the sausage dice and letting it mellow in the soup would be good.

    Went to Dead End BBQ again last night for dinner before a comedy show. Love their smoked sausage and beans side dish (your sausage reminded me).

  3. Oh, I've GOTTA TRY that soup!!!


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