Is this week dragging or what?! I totally thought today was Friday pretty much since I woke up this morning. I feel like the weeks are just getting longer and longer, which is strange since the days are definitely getting longer and longer. It’s ok though, we have this buffalo chicken beer cheese soup to get us through the rest of the week. It’s already gotten me through most of the week already! Everything about this soup just screams “eat me.” Two of my favorite things ever: buffalo chicken AND beer cheese soup collide in this lightened-up recipe perfect for lunch, dinner or late night snack!
I’m going to keep things short and sweet today, but I did want to mention the inspiration behind this recipe. When Zach and I were in Breckenridge, we had a beer cheese soup that, yup you guessed it, was flavored with buffalo chicken.
My heart melted.
I dreamt of this soup for days … and days … and days.
We literally went back to the brewery/restaurant to have the soup over … and over … and over again.
I KNEW that I had to recreate it because it actually works! I was totally skeptical when I first ordered it. I honestly didn’t know how it would play out, but the end result was incredible. I’ve toyed with this recipe and I found the following one to be the best, but you be the judge…when you make it this weekend! ;)
Although, I clearly made this soup with a pilsner, I highly recommend pairing it with an IPA. Pale ales and IPAs tend to add a lot of bitterness when you cook with them as was the case with my Potato Pale Ale Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon; and that was exactly what I wanted for that recipe. I wanted “bitter.” I did not want bitter in this beer cheese soup, so go light on this one, but pair with an IPA to balance out that heat from the hot sauce!
12 ounces light beer (like a pilsner to avoid bitterness)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups low fat milk
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1 3/4 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 1/2 cups fully-cooked shredded chicken breast
croutons, chopped chives, crispy bacon, blue cheese crumbles, Frank's Red Hot sauce (for toppings)
To a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, or until fragrant. Add the beer. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the beer is substantially reduced.
Add the chicken broth and taking an immersion blender, blend the mixture until completely smooth. Alternatively, you can use a regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender on hand.
Bring the soup to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and just enough milk to create a paste (about 1/4-1/3 of a cup). Whisk the flour into the soup and then add the remaining milk. Continue to simmer the soup for another 15 minutes, whisking frequently until the soup has thickened slightly. Stir in the hot sauce. Cook for an additional 3 minutes and then remove from heat.
In 1/2 cup increments add the cheddar cheese and blue cheese crumbles to the soup, stirring and melting the cheeses completely before adding the next addition. It's ok if a few chunks of blue cheese remain.
Stir in the shredded chicken breast.
Serve the soup hot, garnished with croutons. chives, bacon, blue cheese and a drizzle of hot sauce. Enjoy!