Gluten-free Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese SoupThis smooth, rich soup is great for a cozy winter night. Yeasty beer is paired with extra sharp cheddar cheese, a bit of mustard, and sautéed celery, carrots and turnip for the ultimate in comfort food. The beer and the cheese complement each other perfectly in every creamy, satisfying spoonful, as anyone from the Midwest knows. This is a favorite there, especially in Wisconsin, where it’s on the menu at most restaurants.

For a change, try adding 1 cup of chopped, cooked broccoli to the soup. According to research from Monash University, most fructose malabsorbers can tolerate 1/4 cup of broccoli per serving, so this is a great way to enjoy the taste without paying the price later. If you can eat wheat, it’s okay to use regular beer and substitute the same amount of wheat flour for the sweet rice flour.

Make your own chicken broth if you can’t find a store-bought brand that you can tolerate. The easiest way is to put a whole chicken in a large crock pot, cover it with water and let it cook all day on low. When you come home, pour off the broth, use what you need for the soup, and let the chicken and the rest of the broth cool until after dinner. Once it’s cool, remove the meat and store it in fridge or freezer until needed, discarding the rest of the carcass. Strain the remaining broth and freeze or refrigerate it as well. Dinner for a second night is practically done.

Beer Cheese Soup

Serves 4

1/2 cup (120 ml) butter
2 stalks celery, finely minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small, firm turnip, peeled and shredded, discard any with woody centers
1/2 cup (120 ml) sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) dry mustard
4 1/2 cups (1070 ml) chicken stock
170 grams (6 ounces) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
28 grams (1 ounce) Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 bottle (12 ounces or 355 ml) gluten-free beer
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot, then add the celery, carrots and turnip. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and begin to brown in spots, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sweet rice flour and mustard, stirring until the flour is completely mixed into the vegetables. Add the broth and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens and looses the raw taste, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. If the soup was boiling, wait a few minutes before adding the cheese. Whisk the soup until the cheese melts and is completely incorporated into the soup. Add the beer, stirring to mix it in. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too cool, carefully heat it over medium-low heat until it’s hot enough. Don’t let it boil or it will separate. Serve warm.