If you find Jay and I out at one of our favorite restaurants, it’s not unusual to see him enjoying a bowl of hot, cheesy soup before our meal. You’ll also see him begrudgingly pass that bowl my way once every couple minutes so I can take a couple bites because beer cheese soup is so, so good. It’s one of his favorites so I wanted to make a big batch he wouldn’t have to share with anyone else.
This northern staple gets a southern twist with the addition of pimentos and lightened up thanks to a creamy cauliflower base. I’m loving cauliflower lately, especially blended up as a quick and creamy soup base when you don’t feel like struggling with a rue. If you’re like me, making smooth cream sauces has never been your forte but you can work cauliflower in a blender like nobody’s business. And it’s a great way to get extra veggies in.
This meal comes together in less than 20 minutes. I sauté onions and cauliflower in a little extra virgin olive oil, add my seasoning and beer, let everything simmer, then blend until smooth. Next, I pour everything back into the hot pan before adding the cheese, stock, and pimentos.
While my vegetables are simmering for the soup I get started on my croutons. I cut half a loaf of sourdough into cubes, dress with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in a 400 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes. These need to be checked on and shaken up a couple times in the process to keep from burning, but are so worth the effort.
Because this recipe doesn’t use a flour-based rue to thicken it, you could easily replace the beer with more stock and omit the croutons for a gluten free option, too.
Once the cheese melts and gets fully incorporated, you’re left with a delicious, creamy, velvety soup that has just a touch of sharpness thanks to the pimentos. Try it today and be sure to follow Daily Ciabatta on Instagram to keep up with the latest!
Easy Pimento Beer Cheese Soup with Sourdough Croutons
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 1 Head of Cauliflower, chopped
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
- 12 Oz. Light Beer
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 4 Oz. Cream Cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar
- 3 Tbsp Pimentos
For the Croutons
- About 4 Cups of Cubed Sourdough
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 400. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions to the olive oil and season with salt. Sauté until soft then add the cauliflower. Season with the garlic powder, mustard, and pepper then pour the beer over the cauliflower and allow to simmer until the cauliflower is soft, about 15 minutes.
While the cauliflower and onions are simmering, spread the sourdough cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to gently toss the bread until each piece is coated. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the bread is toasted. Shake the pan every few minutes to ensure the bread doesn’t burn.
Once the cauliflower is soft, add all the contents of the pan plus a cup of the chicken stock to a blender. Be sure to leave the lid slightly cracked to vent the steam before running the blender. You may want to place a hand towel over the top to keep the liquid from spilling out of the top. Blend until smooth then return the contents back into the hot pan. Add the final cup of stock, cream cheese, shredded cheddar and pimentos. Stir until the cream cheese is incorporated the the cheddar is melted. Remove from heat and serve with croutons and additional pimentos.