Food Blogger and Cookbook Author, Tonja Engen launched her food and recipe blog called, “Tonja’s Table” in 2011. Later, she wrote a book that has a variety of recipes including some Halloween-inspired soups! She shared her delicious Beer Cheese soup that’s perfect before a night of Trick or Treating with your family.
BEER CHEESE SOUP
- 1⁄2 pound bacon, cut into 1⁄3-inch dice
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) favorite lager (Surly Oktoberfest)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 1⁄2 stick (1⁄4 cup) butter
- 1⁄3 cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
- In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon onto paper towels.
- Next, add the celery, onion, and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook over moderate heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the beer and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a lively simmer for 12 minutes.
- Next, add the Tabasco, cayenne, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low.
- Servings: 6 to 8
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the milk, whisking until thick-
- ened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add all the cheeses, stirring until incorporated. Add the cheese mixture to the Dutch oven. Mix well.
- Using an immersion blender or regular blender, process soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Crumble bacon bits on top and serve with pretzel bites or pretzel roles
- This soup can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm it gently and thin it with additional beer or chicken broth
TOMATO BASIL SOUP
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon crushed dried basil
- 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1⁄4 cup gin
- 3 cans (28 ounces) whole peeled Roma tomatoes
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1⁄2 cup cream or whole milk (optional)
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, salt, and pepper, and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes; then add basil and cayenne, and cook until vegetables are completely soft, about 5 minutes more.
- Add gin and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and broth and season again with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes if time permits.
- After allowing soup to cool somewhat, pure´e with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor until smooth, doing so in batches if necessary.
- If desired, stir in cream over low heat, and continue stirring until soup is just heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
AWARD WINNING CHICKEN CHILI
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 packet chili seasoning
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) Ro-Tel tomatoes
- 1 can (28 ounces) plus 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can black beans (not drained) 1 can chili beans (not drained)
- 1 can kidney beans (not drained)
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) of your favorite beer (I use Surly Furious)
- Saute´ the chicken in a Dutch oven with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until cooked through, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the Dutch oven, add onion, and cook until soft, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add chili seasoning and mix. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and beer.
- Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes to let flavors blend.
- Serve with cheese, sour cream, and green onions.