Signs of fall have started sprouting up all around us. The leaves have begun to fall, there is a crispness to the air, and outdoor gatherings around the fire pit - all things that make us start to crave warm hardy meals to warm up our insides.
This month's Cooking with Sun King recipe is another twofer. Chef Steven Unrue has prepared for you recipes for Oktoberfest Beer Cheese Soup and also serves up Beer Bread - that's perfect for dipping in your bowl of soup!
Oktoberfest Beer Cheese Soup
Servings: 6 / Active Pre Time: 1 hr / Total Time: 1 day (Bread Rise Time)
Ingredients for Soup:
1/2 pound piece of Smoking Goose jowl bacon, sliced 1/3 inch think and cut into 1/3 inch dice
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
1 16 ounce can of Sun King Oktoberfest
About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese coarsely shredded
4 ounces Velveeta, cubed small
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions for Soup:
In a large saucepan, cook the jowl bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl. Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring util softened, 8 minutes. Add half of the Oktoberfest and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Toss the cheeses with the cornstarch. (This helps the soup from breaking.) Add the heavy cream, cheeses and the remaining Oktoberfest and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of broth if the soup is too thick.
Ingredients for Bread:
3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1 cup Sun King Oktoberfest
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon molasses
Directions for Bread:
Mix all of the dry ingredients, then add in the Sun King Oktoberfest, vinegar, molasses, and water. Stir until just combined. Place in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 11-18 hours at room temperature. The amount of time here is flexible; you can let the dough rise as long as 24 hours and the bread will be fine.
Remove onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 15 strokes. Shape into a ball, proof at room temperature for 2 hours, covered with oiled plastic wrap. We recommend that after shaping you place the ball on a piece of parchment paper for the proofing.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Heat dutch oven for 30 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 425 degrees. Score and lightly flour surface of brea, then pick up while still on parchment (this makes the process easier) and place in the hot dutch oven (still on parchment paper). Bake for 30 minutes with cover on and additional 20-30 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and let cool.