overhead view of pumpkin beer cheese soup next a bottle of pumpkin ale on a counter top

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Why I love this pumpkin beer cheese soup

When I started my Wisconsin Supper Club series, I knew beer cheese soup had to be on the list. It’s a staple around here, and it’s so creamy and indulgent. It’s right up there with cheese curds and beer brats. Are you sensing a theme here?

But I knew a creamy, cheesy soup would be hard to replicate. That’s where the pumpkin comes in. Not only are we doing an actual pumpkin beer, which is perfect for fall, but there’s actual pumpkin in the soup, which makes it extra creamy and adds a beautiful color to the soup.

More recipes to cook with beer: grilled chicken thighs / beer battered onion strings / beer chili / Guinness braised beef

overhead close up of pumpkin beer cheese soup in a white bowl

About the ingredients:

I decided to use my vegan broccoli soup as inspiration for this one, so I used similar ingredients, but this one isn’t completely vegan unless you use vegan Worcestershire sauce. You should be able to find some in the organic section of your grocery store.

You’ll also want to be careful about your beer choice. Not all alcohol is dairy free, which is why we normally buy vegan wines and beer. I verified with the brand in the photos that they don’t use milk in their production, but you’ll want to double check if you’re using a different brand.

side view close up of a bowl of pumpkin beer cheese soup

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

overhead close up of a spoon full of pumpkin beer cheese soup

How to make pumpkin beer cheese soup

Sauté the vegetables. Heat olive oil in a large pot to medium-high heat. Add the veggies and let the cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.

Make a roux. Add the flour, cornstarch and nutritional yeast. Stir to coat the veggies, and let the thickeners absorb the oil.

Simmer the soup. Next, slowly add the beer and broth, whisking as you go to prevent clumping. The add the remaining ingredients (except the cheddar shreds) and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and the the soup simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Puree the soup. Using an immersion blender (or a high speed blender), blend the soup until smooth. Return to your soup to the pot if needed, and add the cheddar shreds.

Add cheese. Let them melt (vegan cheese takes a little longer than traditional cheese to melt, so be patient), and adjust the seasoning if needed, before serving.

overhead view of a bowl of pumpkin beer cheese soup on a countertop next to a hand bowl and spoons

FAQS and tips for making pumpkin beer cheese soup

Is there alcohol in beer cheese soup?

Yes. Even though alcohol can be removed during the cooking process, this beer cheese soup isn’t cooked long enough to remove it completely. It’s a very small amount per serving, and you can’t get drunk from it, but if you’re avoiding alcohol, you might want to substitute a non-alcoholic option.

How do you fix bitter beer cheese soup?

You shouldn’t get a bitter taste if you use the type of beer recommending in the recipe, but if you decided to use a different type of beer, you might find the soup has a bitter taste. You can balance this with a bit of acid (vinegar or lemon juice) and/or by adjusting the amount of salt.

What is the best beer for beer cheese?

I recommend a lighter, more mellow beer, such as an ale or lager, for beer cheese soup – or really anything beer cheese – because you want the flavor of your beer to work with the flavor of the other ingredients. Super strong flavored beers, such as IPA, won’t work as well and might overpower the flavor of the soup.

Where did beer cheese soup originate?

Beer cheese soup originated in Germany, but it became super popular in Wisconsin because of it German immigrant population and the dairy industry. Combine that with the beer production in the state, and you have a perfect soup for the state.

overhead view of two bowls of pumpkin beer cheese soup on a countertop

More pumpkin recipes you’ll love:

More dairy free Wisconsin recipes:

Print

Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

Nothing is better than a cheesy and comforting soup on a cold winter day! Made with flavorful pumpkin beer and creamy ingredients, this beer cheese soup is dairy free dupe of the classic Wisconsin soup.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: German/American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth*
  • 2 cups pumpkin ale
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut yogurt (optional)
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup cheddar shreds (use your favorite dairy free cheese)

Instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic with a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining salt, flour, cornstarch and nutritional yeast, stirring to coat the vegetables and allow the flour to absorb any liquid in the the pan.
  4. Slowly whisk in the broth and beer. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the vegan yogurt, coconut milk, pumpkin puree, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, turmeric and paprika. Stir until incorporated.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the soup for about 10-15 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.
  7. When the vegetables are fully softened, puree the soup with a blender until smooth.
  8. Stir in the cheddar shreds and allow it to melt completely.
  9. Before serving, adjust seasoning to taste with salt & pepper.

Notes

*To make this soup vegan, use vegetable broth and vegan friendly Worcestershire sauce. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 274
  • Sugar: 8.8 g
  • Sodium: 462 mg
  • Fat: 19.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.3 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: dairy free, vegan, egg free, easy, Wisconsin, beer, cheese

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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3 Comments

  1. I see you used lactose free milk, not an actual alternative milk. The alternative milks behave much differently in cooking than lactose free milk. I don’t think it’s accurate to say “you can use any milk alternative” that’s a very, very different thing than actual cow’s milk with the lactose already broken down. Very disappointing to see this listed as “dairy free” when it actually isn’t since lactose is just one of the components of milk that causes problems.

    1. You’re totally right! I wrote this recipe when I was new to being dairy free, so we were still using lactose free on occasion. Since then, I have tried this recipe with both almond milk and coconut milk and it turned out great. Generally, stovetop recipes are much more forgiving than baking recipes when it comes to milk replacement, though, so any alternative milk should work for this one!