Frugal Foodie Mama: Butternut Squash Cheddar Ale Soup

Friday, September 20, 2013

Butternut Squash Cheddar Ale Soup

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The craft beer selection in my hometown makes me sad.  I live in a small rural area where Budweiser and Miller Lite reign over dueling kingdoms.  The demand for good, small batch brewed beers doesn't exist where I live now.

And I am spoiled.
I lived in a big Midwestern city for nearly 9 years.  There was craft beer EVERYWHERE.
Local breweries were popping up around the corner and across town.
You didn't have to find a specialty store to buy good beer- they sold it in the beer caves of the local grocery stores.
Then I lived near Pittsburgh for about a year.  Again, it wasn't difficult to find good beer.

I love good craft beers.  I love drinking them.  I love cooking and baking with them.
Julie from This Gal Cooks & I decided on fall beers for this month's Spiked! Recipe Challenge ingredient.  
I was excited and also a little bummed...
I wasn't sure what I would find at the local beer stop that would fit into the fall beers category.  
I walked in and was literally trying to decide between what seemed to be my only two options- one pumpkin beer and an Oktoberfest.  
And then I spotted the Blue Moon Brewmaster's Seasonal Sampler! 
Thank goodness- it afforded me not one, but FOUR fall seasonal brews- jackpot!

I knew I wanted to make a beer cheese soup, but I couldn't just make beer cheese soup. That would be too easy. ;)
I took it one step further and truly gave it a seasonal kick with a little roasted butternut squash.  I decided to go with the Blue Moon Short Straw, a red ale flavored with coriander and white pepper.  I knew those flavors would pair perfectly with the squash and cheddar.

Butternut Squash Cheddar Ale Soup

by Frugal Foodie Mama
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes roasting time, plus
Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • olive oil, salt, & pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 12 oz bottle of fall/harvest ale
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar (I used mild.)
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Bacon for garnishing (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top off of your squash and then cut it in half lengthwise. Clean out the seeds and pulp from each half.
Place the squash halves flesh side up on a baking sheet. Brush each half with olive oil and then season with salt & pepper.
Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender.
Set aside and let cool.

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the diced onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.

Pour in the chicken broth and beer. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

While this is simmering, scoop out about 2 cups of the roasted butternut squash and place it in a blender or food processor. Add in the 1/2 cup of chicken broth and puree.
Pour the butternut squash puree into the chicken broth/beer mixture in the dutch oven and mix well.

Add in the bay leaf and Dijon mustard. Cook another 10 minutes.

Stir in the shredded cheddar until completely melted.

In a small bowl, whisk together the half & half and the cornstarch. Quickly whisk this into the soup.
Cook another 3-5 minutes until the soup has thickened slightly.

Ladle into bowls and top with crispy bacon if you would like.
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Well, another Spiked! Recipe Challenge is in the books, folks!  Can you believe that there is only ONE more challenge left for the year??  

Make sure you click on over to the Spiked! Fall Beers Recipe Challenge Submissions and check out all of the delicious recipes everyone made with their fall and harvest beers!

If you loved this recipe, you might also like my...

I will be sharing all of the fall beers recipes submitted to this month's challenge all weekend long on my Facebook.  Be sure you have stopped on over and clicked Like so you don't miss a single one! :)