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.
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.
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
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.