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Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons

 Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

I promise you that this is the last St. Patricks day post. Until next year when I will further assault you with recipes for celebrating my love 'o the Irish, and forcing you to read more stories of my visit to Dublin.

Until then, here is a Green Beer cheese soup that contains not a drop of food dye, relying on the natural pigment of broccoli to get the job done. Although I don’t know who’s to blame for fouling up beer with green dye, I can’t imagine the Irish, with their deliciously dark stouts, are to blame. I’d wager the fault goes to America. No matter how you choose to celebrate, green beer-food just feels festive. I just wish I had some shamrock shaped soup bowls for the occasion.

Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

To up the Irish in this dish, I used Kerrygold Dubliner cheese. I’ve been using Kerrygold for years, and not just because I have a soft spot for Ireland. Kerrygold uses natural, sustainable methods, uses co-op farmers, grass-fed cows, and zero artificial colors or flavors (not sponsored post, I swear!). While at a pub in Dublin, I met the son of a sheep farmer.

 Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

We talked for hours about farming (I also grew up on a farm) and even when he wanted to change the subject to his love of Eddie Murphy, I kept steering the conversation back to farming in Ireland. Irish farmers are unlike any farmers I’ve ever met. Because the herds are always small, due to land limitations, the relationships between farmers and animals is unusually devoted and affectionate. Although Kerrygold is readily available at most grocery stores, it has a small farm feel to it.

Even if you do end up throwing in some green food dye to up the color, I hope you love this soup as much as I do, and raise your pint to Ireland.

Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons


For The Soup

  • 3 cups broccoli florets chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ large sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups wheat beer or pale ale
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 7 ounces Dubliner cheese grated (or sharp white cheddar)
  • 8 ounces gouda grated
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Croutons:

  • 1 French baguette cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pesto


  • In a large pot of lightly salted water, cook the broccoli until very soft, drain and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 4 tbs butter. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until the carrots are very soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for about 30 seconds, remove from heat.
  • In a large food processor or blender, add 1 cup beer, cornstarch, both kids of cheese and as well as the carrot and celery mixture, process until very smooth, about 5 to 8 minutes. Return mixture to the pot along with the remaining beer.
  • In the same food processor (no need to clean between jobs) add the broccoli and the broth, process until very smooth. Add pureed broccoli, as well as the cream, to the soup.
  • Bring the soup to a low simmer, stirring occasionally until warmed and slightly thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbs butter. Add the bread cubes and toss until browned. Remove from heat and immediately add in the pesto, toss to coat.
  • Serve the soup topped with croutons.

*This is not a sponsored post. I actually feel this way. 

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Averie @ Averie Cooks March 7, 2013 um 3:02 am

I love Kerrygold too. I don’t have any pub stories quite as good as yours but did live in Chicago for many years and the Irish community is strong and vibrant and fun!

Love this soup – perfect color!


Jackie March 7, 2013 um 9:16 am

I love Chicago too! Sounds like a great place to live, but I’m the San Diego winters have won you over 🙂


Cassie | Bake Your Day March 7, 2013 um 6:10 am

This is brilliant – combining broccoli cheese and beer cheese soup. Stunning! I love it.


Bev @ Bev Cooks March 7, 2013 um 6:24 am

Oh my gosh I LOOOOOVE that cheese and I can’t see right now.


claire @ the realistic nutritionist March 7, 2013 um 6:30 am

Girl, you can post all you want about St. Paddys!!! Yummo!!!


Kare @ Kitchen Treaty March 7, 2013 um 7:48 am

Whew! So glad it’s just *green* beer cheese soup and not *green beer* cheese soup! 😉 This looks un-freakin-real (in a really good way).


Jackie March 7, 2013 um 9:19 am

I know! I actually, sort of resent food dye, is that weird? I feel like produce is so gorgeous enough, we don’t need food dye. I get angry when I see it on a jam label, "Why aren’t strawberries red enough for you people?!" I know, It’s slightly insane.


Eileen March 7, 2013 um 10:33 am

Adding broccoli to a classic beer cheese soup sounds like a perfect idea, St. Patrick’s Day or no St. Patrick’s Day. 🙂 Vegetables for all!


addie | culicurious March 7, 2013 um 12:21 pm

I love Kerrygold too! I just tried it for the first time this week – it’s going into a recipe I’m publishing next week. Good to know that their farm is totally legit too! 🙂


Jackie March 8, 2013 um 10:45 am

Such a great company! I love that they use small co-op farmers rather than the gigantic industrial farms in the US. I want to visit some of the farmers in Ireland someday!


Kevin @ Closet Cooking March 7, 2013 um 5:33 pm

That green ale soup looks good! Perfect for St Patrick’s Day!


tim herz March 8, 2013 um 6:46 am

A note: there are some good natural food dyes if people want to do that. but this still looks green enough forme.


Shantell March 8, 2013 um 6:49 am

Every st. patrcks day I hate the food dye, but I still love the celebrations. this is perfect.


Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies March 8, 2013 um 8:50 am

I always cringe a little bit about the abundance of food coloring in holiday recipes, so yay for this one. 🙂


Jackie March 8, 2013 um 10:43 am

Me too, I’m not a fan of food coloring. Plus, natural is pretty colorful all on it’s own.


Ari @ Ari’s Menu March 8, 2013 um 4:00 pm

The soup looks amazing, but I am even more obsessed with the croutons!! I want an entire bowl full!


Bree {Skinny Mommy} March 9, 2013 um 5:09 am

This sounds great! And the pesto croutons? YUM


Jodi March 11, 2013 um 9:17 am

How many will this recipe serve? I’m taking this to a St. Patty’s day party and am wondering if I will have to double the recipe….?

Also, have tried many recipes from this site (Beer & Bacon jam is my personal favorite) – BLESS you for coming up with such amazing recipes!!!


Jackie March 11, 2013 um 9:33 am

It serves 4. You should double it, it’s always great to have leftovers 🙂


Jodi July 8, 2013 um 6:07 am

Wondering if you’ve ever frozen and re-heated this soup…. ?


Valerie @ From Valerie’s Kitchen March 11, 2013 um 5:23 pm

I never thought about it before but broccoli cheese soup absolutely needs beer! Happy St. Patrick’s Day Jackie 🙂 This soup looks fab.


Mary March 17, 2020 um 9:24 pm

You could use spinach tortillas and cut them into shamrocks to dip in your soup or make a green beer cheese dip with shamrock shaped tortillas.


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