There is something about the sound of the words beer cheese soup that makes my mouth water. I mean, c’mon, beer and cheese together in a single dish? It’s the perfect comfort food!
But a low carb diet sometimes makes it difficult to be able to enjoy delicious creamy soups because many of the recipes call for flour. The flour is used to thicken the soup and make it extra creamy.
But not this recipe! In this recipe most of the carb content comes from the beer, so the key is choosing a light beer. I used Miller Lite because it only has 3.2 grams of carbs for a 12 ounce can. Budweiser Select, however, is said to have only 1.9 grams of carbs per 12 ounce serving.
I don’t use any kind of flour, replying on the cheese and the cream to do the work to thicken the soup. You could add arrowroot if you would like it thicker.
How do I use arrowroot to thicken sauces?
Arrowroot should be used at the very end of the cooking process to thicken your dish. Again, I didn’t use it in this recipe, but you can add it if you would like.
Arrowroot should be combined with 2 parts water to make a slurry (for example 1 tsp arrowroot with 2 tsp water for every 2 cups of soup). Whisk the slurry into the soup and it remove from heat once it thickens in about 30-60 seconds. Do not overcook.
I used a slurry in my cream of mushroom soup recipe, but I this beer soup recipe doesn’t need it unless you want a thicker soup.
How many carbs are in a 12 ounce beer?
According to the USDA, the average can of beer has 13 grams of carbs. Spread over a soup recipe, that’s not actually a deal breaker, but of course you want to reduce that as much as possible.
Below is a list of some mainstream beers and their carb counts for a 12 ounce serving.
- Budweiser – 11 grams
- Bud Light – 7 grams
- Budweiser Select – 1.9 grams
- Busch – 10 grams
- Busch Light – 3 grams
- Coors – 11 grams
- Coors Light – 5 grams
- Corona Extra – 14 grams
- Corona Light – 5 grams
- Heineken – 10 grams
- Heineken Light – 7 grams
- Michelob – 13 grams
- Michelob Light – 7 grams
- Miller Genuine Draft – 13 grams
- Miller Lite – 3.2 grams
My beer cheese soup recipe contains 10 servings, so even if you use regular beer, you won’t add too many carbs to each serving.
According to Wikipedia, beer cheese soup often uses potatoes as a thickener. Some make a roux and add the flour to it to thicken. Others use dry mustard, many don’t. Some variations even use raisins. Ew.
In medieval Europe it was eaten for breakfast over bread. I would imagine beer soup originated in Germany since they are known for their beer, but it could have come from any number of other countries as well.
Any number of different cheeses can be used in beer soup – cheddar, Jarlsberg, even goat cheese. It’s really just a matter of taste.
Obviously my variation isn’t going to use bread, potatoes or raisins (thankfully) and I went simple with the cheese choice and some of the other ingredients to make the recipe easier – but still delicious.
Please note that the cook time in this recipe, and the temperature may not be enough to burn off all of the alcohol from the beer during cooking. This means that some alcohol may be retained in the final dish. Supposedly it can take 2-½ hours or more to fully cook all of the alcohol out of a dish.
30 minutes in a dutch oven likely isn’t enough time to burn off the alcohol, and even hours in a slow cooker may not do the job either. So just keep that in mind when serving this dish to kids or someone who may be avoiding alcohol for some reason.
Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
This recipe has a few steps but overall it’s fairly straightforward. You can eliminate the step where you puree the soup, but the texture is kind of odd if you don’t make it nice and smooth. I highly recommend the extra step to puree the soup. Even if you have to do it in a few batches.
Popcorn is optional, especially if you are following a low carb diet. The popcorn is not included in the nutrition information on the recipe. I enjoyed it with a few pieces of popcorn because the savory saltiness of it is a great compliment to the soup.
I’d love to make low carb pretzels and dip them in the soup.
Beer Cheese Soup
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1/2 lb bacon cooked
- 1 rib celery
- 1 small onion
- 2 dashes hot sauce optional
- 1 can light beer 12 ounces
- 2-1/4 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 4 tbsp butter unsalted
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tbsp brown mustard
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp thyme dried
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Melt the butter over low heat in a dutch oven or large saucepan.
- Add onion, add garlic, add celery and thyme, raise heat to medium-high and saute vegetables for about 10 minutes until onions are translucent.
- Add broth, beer and heavy cream and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or up to 20 minutes.
- Pour soup into a blended and puree until smooth. This may have to be done in batches.
- Return soup to Dutch oven.
- Add cream cheese and sour cream, turn heat to medium-high and whisk until cream cheese is melted. About 8-10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add cheese (shredded cheddar). Stir until blended.
- Simmer at a low boil for 5 minutes, then add in Worcestershire, lemon juice, bacon and mustard. Cook stirring for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.