Beer Cheese Soup (Lightened Up)

Thanks for the accountability, folks. I pounded out a quick 5K before pouring a glass of Pinot Grigio last night. It was just one of those weeks, and the only thing getting me through Thursday and Friday was the thought of a happy hour drink come Friday. It’s the little things in life.

Mr. Prevention and I did a whole lot of NOTHING last night other than catching up with the DVR, and it was glorious. We were planning to go out to eat, but Mr. P has had some really early hours this week (hello, 4:30am…ew), and staying it just seemed like the right things to do 🙂 Of course, Mr. Prevention insisted on leftover pizza for dinner and I would have nothing of it. I had my mind set on bigger, better, and cheesier things. 😉

I had never heard of Beer Cheese Soup until a week ago. And since then, it’s all I’ve wanted. Beer? Please. Always. Cheese? Please. Always. I know I’m not alone here. Well, I wanted the soup, not the calories and fat. So, I remedied that and the result was glooorious.

I don’t know about you, but when my love for nutrition and great-tasting food can come together, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. Of course this soup isn’t the most nutritious thing ever, but it sure as heck is way lower in calories and fat than the original version or a dinner out, so there! I justify my guiltless indulgence in this most decadent soup!

Beer Cheese Soup adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

4 Tbsp butter Smart Balance Light
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled & chopped fine
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used Great Lakes Pale Ale)
2 cups 2% milk
12 oz 75% reduced-fat Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz American Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tsp cornstarch
Table salt & ground black pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and carrots until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, beer, and milk. Bring mixture to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently (do not boil) until carrots are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

Toss shredded cheeses and cornstarch in large bowl until well combined. Puree soup in blender in 2 batches until completely smooth, return to saucepan, and simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in cheese mixture, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information: 344 calories; 16 g. fat; 43 mg. cholesteorl; 652 mg. sodium; 19.3 g. carbohydrate; 1.2 g. fiber; 6.2 g. sugar; 28.2 g. protein

Result: Oh la la, this is AMAZING! 75% reduced fat, what? Doesn’t matter. Delicious, and way less guilt involved. Enjoy!

Question: What’s one word you always spell wrong?

I have trouble with “occasion” (don’t know why..) and “Hanukkah” — I always spell that wrong.

Happy weekend! Gift wrapping, hair cut, workout, Illinois basketball, and date night are on my calendar! 😀

Be well,

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16 Comments

  1. December 18, 2010 / 8:52 am

    YUM!! This sounds great, and I LOVE that you used a Great Lakes beer! That makes it automatically better. And, I still can’t get over the great price of that cheese. I will have to get some next time I’m there.

    I spell many words wrong, I’m sure, but I have to agree with you, Occassion (or “occasion” apparently) is a tough one. I always want to put two “s”‘s in there! Also “dissapointed”, I still don’t understand why there are two “P’s (disappointed) and not two “s”‘s. English stinks.

  2. December 18, 2010 / 9:37 am

    This sounds amazing! Perfect and warming 🙂
    I am a grammar STICKLER haha so if I ever doubt my spelling, I google it 😉

  3. December 18, 2010 / 9:45 am

    This looks SOOO delicious. Thanks for sharing. The word I always spell wrong? Definitely. Thank God for spell check!!

  4. December 18, 2010 / 10:56 am

    I always spell accommodation wrong, which stinks because as a special ed teacher I have to write it all the time. I also spell excellent wrong about 50% of the time.

  5. December 18, 2010 / 11:01 am

    I pretty much spell definitely wrong just about every time. I switch out the second i with an a… wierd.

    That soup sounds so good! We have a beer bread that my husband wants to make sometime and I think beer cheese soup would be the perfect dipper for it!

  6. December 18, 2010 / 12:57 pm

    Whoa! Awesome professional soup pic :). I’m getting my haircut tomorrow too! There are a few words which I always spell wrong, but am drawing a blank on what they are. Thank goodness for spell check!! Nice job on the work outs 🙂

  7. December 18, 2010 / 1:47 pm

    I have major typo issues with words ending in -ING, if I’m typign quickly they start comign out like that.

    🙂

    Also the word FROM I often typo as FORM.

    Not really spelling issues, just chronic typos.

  8. December 18, 2010 / 4:08 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make beer cheese soup! Your recipe is going on “my list!”

    We are having a little get-together tomorrow and are buys planning, prepping, cleaning… 🙂

  9. December 18, 2010 / 4:51 pm

    totally agreed. When it comes to indulging, it’s best to do so with a bit of accountability and conscientiousness. this soup looks wonderful! but seriously. beer and cheese? how could you go wrong?

  10. December 18, 2010 / 8:21 pm

    I have trouble with occasion too. And necessary and definitely.

  11. December 18, 2010 / 10:40 pm

    that is my favorite cheese EVER….doesn’t taste reduced fat…AND it melts really nice!!! Enjoy your busy weekend!!!

  12. December 19, 2010 / 2:00 am

    Your beer cheese soup is putting my baked potato soup to shame! That looks amazing, and isn’t Cabot the best? I’m a pretty good speller so I usually don’t mess up much, but I always have trouble with “jalapeno”.

  13. December 19, 2010 / 11:46 pm

    Umm, yes please, this sounds fantastic! You can’t go wrong with beer and cheese 🙂

  14. December 20, 2010 / 12:19 pm

    Those photos sealed the deal- I’m making this for dinner! Thanks for sharing your recipe modifications, and for using Cabot reduced-fat cheese! Our farm family owners appreciate your support (and so do I) 🙂
    ~Jacquelyn

  15. December 20, 2010 / 4:26 pm

    I can’t spell occasion, either! Why can’t there just be two “c’s” and two “s’s” to make it easier?!

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