After having near triple digit temperatures just a couple of weeks ago, things have cooled down significantly over the past week. It’s been quite welcome to me because it’s finally put me in a soup mood which is one of my favorite things about fall/winter.
Today, that soup mood hit me in the middle of the afternoon. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to pick up chicken broth when I was at the grocery store this morning after leaving my Weight Watchers meeting. This meant I needed to do a bit of improvising based on things I already had on hand.
I did a quick review of things in my pantry and fridge. It was during this process that I remembered that I had received a sampler of hard cider from the good folks at Angry Orchard a few days ago. Thus was born the idea for making my Quick & Easy Beer Cheese Soup. I got the recipe from a friend several years ago and it’s become my go to beer cheese soup recipe just because it IS so quick & easy. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you have several hours to make a proper beer cheese soup, then you should definitely go that route. If, like me, you just want some soup in a hurry, this one works great.
My first decision was to decide which variety of cider I wanted to use for the soup. The choices I had were Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger, and Traditional Dry. As you might be able to deduce from the photo, I decided to go with the Crisp Apple. I figured since apple and cheddar cheese go well together, this would be a great match.
Next up was actually making the soup. Here’s the recipe I use:
Quick & Easy Beer Cheese Soup
- 1 can condensed cream soup (celery, mushroom, potato — whatever you have on hand)
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 tsp. seasoned salt
- 1/8 tsp. paprika
- 12 oz. bottle of beer
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
In a saucepan, mix the condensed soup, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and paprika. Add beer gradually while stirring. Heat to simmering. Add cheese. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted. Pour into soup bowls or cups. Garnish as desired with croutons, bacon bits, minced parsley or chives. Makes 4 servings.
I actually let mine simmer a bit after adding the cheese even though the recipe doesn’t call for that. Also, I didn’t have any plain cheddar cheese, so I substituted and used a reduced fat cheddar jack blend. Here’s a photo I took while it was simmering. It smelled sooooo good thanks to the Crisp Apple hard cider!
In case you’re wondering, and I’m sure you are, I did reserve a swig for the chef as a sample. This was my first time trying Angry Orchard hard cider, so how could I not, right? I’m not really a beer drinker and had just always assumed a hard cider would be like a beer due to the look of the bottle. Well, that definitely wasn’t the case. It wasn’t like beer at all. It was crisp and refreshing and basically tasted like a fermented apple cider. I could definitely see including these in my adult beverage repertoire going forward. At 6 PointsPlus per bottle, it will have to be an occasional treat, but still very do-able for my Weight Watchers plan. Thankfully, I noticed on their website that Angry Orchard is available at my local Target. Woo Hoo!
While my soup was simmering, I ran the recipe through the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder. I was pleasantly surprised to see the soup comes in at 4 PointsPlus value per serving. Once I realized the hard cider was 6 PointsPlus, I was expecting the soup to be more. Here’s how my finished product looked. I used a few garlic light bagel chips as a garnish.
All in all, I give the hard cider a big thumbs up. It worked great in my beer cheese soup recipe. Now I just have to decide if I’m going to use the Traditional Dry and Apple Ginger varieties for cooking as well or if I’ve just going to pop the top and drink them.
Have you tried Angry Orchard hard ciders? If so, what’s your favorite flavor? If you use them for cooking, I would love to hear your idea! Please leave me a comment and let me know you use them.
Until next time …
Disclosure: Angry Orchard provided me with a 6-pack of their hard ciders to sample for the purpose of this review. As always, all opinions expressed are entirely my own. To learn more about Angry Orchard, visit them online at angryorchard.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
P.S. – This post is part of my on-going participation in the National Health Blog Post Month challenge.