Jalapeño Cheddar Ale soup

Mmmm. Good soup.

Many years ago I had some soup from the cafeteria at work. It was so good, I spoke the chef and asked if they could share the recipe. Well, I lost that recipe but have continued to make this from time to time from memory.

Decided I should finally put pen to paper (err, keystrokes to blog?) and make sure I have a copy of this recipe forever more.


  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 bunches of green (spring) onions, diced
  • 3 cups of chopped celery
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 1 tall can (about 1 1/2 cups) of beer (pale ale or IPA are best)
  • 4 cups of low-salt chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup of 18% table cream
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups old cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste
  • croutons to garnish (or some fresh buns to dip!)

In a French oven or stock pot over medium-high heat, cook onions, garlic and jalapeño in butter until onions are translucent. (approx 10 mins)

While that’s cooking, take celery and run through a food processor until it’s a pulpy texture

Deglaze pan with 1/2 the beer then add celery. Add spices, mustard and Worcestershire. Mix well and add rest of the beer. Tonight I used Instigator IPA from a local Toronto brewery Indie AleHouse.

Add chicken stock (save 1/2 cup) and bring everything to a simmering boil. Make a slurry with your cornstarch and chicken stock and stir in.

Put your lid on and leave to simmer for 30 mins, stirring occassionally.

Turn heat down to medium and add cream and stir well. Add cheese in small batches, stirring thoroughly each time to make sure it’s melted (and not just congealing at the bottom).

Hit it with the immersion blender and let it cook over medium heat for an additional 10-15 mins. At this point add some salt, tasting as you go. You DO NOT want to salt-bomb this soup and ruin the layers of flavour.

Serve with croutons or some bread, or even a dollop of sour cream. It’s not too spicy, but it still has some heat.

And that’s that! Delicious soup and lots of leftovers for this weekend, where it’s going to feel like -30ºC here in Toronto (Brrrrrr!) Glad to have some good soup to warm up for lunch tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Jalapeño Cheddar Ale soup

  1. I tried this today. Overall impression is very good. We used Collective Arts Ransack the Universe which I now wonder if maybe it wasn’t quite the right beer for this soup, because I tasted a lot of celery and a lot of bitterness. I was able to course correct when adding the cheese (I always use more cheese than I’m told!) and we served it up with chopped chicken and spinach, as well as Mad Mexican Tortilla chips. Thanks for sharing! Happy to have a vat of soup to keep us going this week!


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