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A Souper Bowl

12 Feb

As it hasn’t been mentioned in awhile I thought now might be a good time to remind you that The Boy has a major cheese addiction. It’s been kept in check to one degree or another for the past couple of months.

But you should be able to tell just from the very fact that I’ve typed this intro, that the cheese addiction spun wildly out of control recently. And I do mean wildly.


On our very first day as true Brooklynites we decided to partake in one of the very most Brooklyn of activities (that is, if you’re a Brooklynite of a certain age and social status). We drove our (rented) SUV to Red Hook and went to Fairway. We had both been to the Fairway uptown and felt kinda, eh, about it, but for some reason this time we went bonkers.

Cheese! Olives! Chocolate! Tea! Pasta! Honey! All at such fabulous prices! The magic of Fairway whipped us into some kind of grocery shopping frenzy. It was madness.

And so, after our first dinner in our new place, the spectre of the half-eaten nubs of imported cheeses, languishing in the chill of the refrigerator, haunted me for the rest of the week. What should I do with them?

It’s a question I’ve had to ask myself many, many times in the past year. Some of my solutions have included:

Pillows Of Love Pillows Of Love 1 and Pillows Of Love 2 Pillows Of Love 2

The most delicious pizza.

The most decadent cauliflower ever.

More cauliflower (this time with peas and pasta).

Roasted Vege Mac & Cheese And another time, there was even leftover Mac & Cheese that needed to be dealt with.

And so, with all these meals, and others I’ve never blogged at the back of my mind, I knew I had to go in another direction. No baking, no pasta. Something truly radical… Something suitable for Super Bowl Sunday. Something, like say, Beer & Cheese soup? Yep, something just like Beer & Cheese soup.

Beer & Cheese Soup

I’ve long heard tales of this soup from friends that grew up in the Midwest. For them it was an adult treat, laced with booze and oozy with cheese, much like fondue was for me as a child. There was something illicit, grown-up and slightly foregin about it. So, off to the Internet I went looking for a recipe for this creamy elixir, and what did I find? None other than my patron saint of geeky cooking had tackled this very dish, the always amazing, Alton Brown.

Okay, okay, yes you’re right, there’s no beer in Alton’s soup, but I’m guessing that’s just because the FN wouldn’t let him because they’re a family network, but whatever… I “know” AB well enough to know that there’s supposed to be beer in this dish, so I extrapolated and revised and, well, I added some beer!

We had three kinds of cheese sitting around. The one we had the most of was called kashkaval. From what I’ve read it’s a sheep’s milk cheese from Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia or even Greece. Some people say it’s the Balkans’ answer to cheddar, others provolone. Me? The stuff we got hit me as a cross between mozzarella and haloumi, two of my favorite cheeses. The other two remnants were a hard cheese from Spain and a semi-hard cheese from Sardegna, neither of which I can remember the names of. They all melted really nicely into the soup, only needing a wee bit of extra help from the immersion blender.

The Boy found the soup to be extraordinary, I found that I had added too much dried mustard and that it tasted slightly bitter to me. Ah, tastebuds… Everyone’s different! So, if you too decide to go a little lowbrow and make this delicious, warming, wintry soup, heed my advice and do go easy on the mustard!

Head below the jump for the recipe for Super Bowl Beer & Cheese Soup. Continue reading