This beer cheese soup is creamy, smokey, and velvety smooth – the perfect dunking situation for your soft pretzels.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- half an onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3–4 stalks of celery, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (adds a bacon-like flavor)
- 1 bottle of beer (I used Blue Moon – just a basic wheat beer)
- 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk (high fat milk is better)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot (see notes) over medium high heat. Add the vegetables (onion, garlic, celery, jalapeno, red pepper, smoked paprika). Saute for a few minutes until soft.
- Add half of the beer and all of the broth. Bring to a low simmer.
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 5-ish minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add this butter-and-flour mixture to the simmering soup pot. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes. It should start to thicken. Slowly whisk in the milk and remaining beer. Simmer again for 5-10 minutes until creamy and slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and wait for a few minutes for the soup to cool down slightly. Stir in the cheese until evently melted. Season with salt and pepper. Grab your spoonssss!
Soft Pretzel Options:
- Homemade (recipe here)
- Semi-homemade (recipe here)
- Store-bought pretzel rolls. No judgement.
We recommend using a heavy pot for best results, like a enamel coated Dutch oven (affiliate link). We made this many times in a stainless steel pot and it always gave us chunky results (the cheese didn’t melt smoothly).
Cheese Clump Warning: Don’t add the cheese to your soup when it’s piping hot. The cheese will not melt smoothly – it will clump up and get gritty. You just have to be gentle with the heat / cheese in order to get it perfectly smooth.
Instant Pot: Cook vegetables, beer, and broth for 10-15 minutes on high pressure. Release steam, turn off heat, and allow the soup to cool for 30 minutes (otherwise you’re gonna get gritty, clumpy cheese). Make your roux on the stovetop. Whisk the roux into the Instant Pot and add the milk and cheese. (This has a differently, slightly less thick texture than the stovetop version. I found when I made this in the Instant Pot that it didn’t really simmer to thicken the base of the soup, so therefore it didn’t need as much liquid. I chose to just omit the other half of the beer, but you could omit some of the broth or milk as well.)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: beer cheese soup, soup recipe, beer cheese, pretzel recipe