Cheddar-Ale Soup

Cheddar-Ale Soup

21 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, December 2006

Our cheese- and beer-lover's potato soup has only a fraction of the fat and sodium of a traditional recipe. We use low-fat milk and only a little oil and keep the flavor strong with zesty, sharp Cheddar cheese. Precooked diced potatoes, which you can get at many supermarkets, keep this recipe super speedy. Regular diced red potatoes also work—you'll just need to increase the cooking time.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale
  • 2 18-ounce bags precooked diced peeled potatoes, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2½ cups nonfat or low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced or finely chopped


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add beer; bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, broth and water; cover and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes with a potato masher to the desired consistency.
  2. Whisk milk and flour and add to the soup. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in 1¼ cups Cheddar and stir until melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining ¼ cup cheese and bell pepper.
  • Ingredient note: Look for precooked diced potatoes in the refrigerated section of most supermarket produce departments—near other fresh, prepared vegetables. To make your own, peel 2¼ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces and boil until tender (about 15 minutes).

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1¾ cups
  • Per serving: 386 calories; 12 g fat(5 g sat); 5 g fiber; 50 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 16 mcg folate; 32 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 702 IU vitamin A; 18 mg vitamin C; 333 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 450 mg sodium; 227 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (33% daily value), Vitamin C (30% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, ½ fat

Reviews 21

March 26, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Flavorless I was very disappointed by this soup. I wish I had read the previous reviews prior to making it. We couldn't taste the beer at all, and the soup had almost no flavor. I added a multitude of spices to make it edible.
January 05, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Blah soup Did not like this soup at all. Couldn't taste anything but bland potatoes even though I added extra ingredients and doctored it up as best I could with other seasonings it was still blah. Don't recommend or will ever make this again.
January 11, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Very bland Didn't taste cheese or beer when prepared as directed; had to doctor it up substantially with seasonings and Worcestershire; let it cook down until thicker to concentrate flavor and then added more beer; turned out to be edible, but would not make it again.
December 11, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious With Some Edits :) We did it by the book (using fresh potatoes) and the result was as reported by others, bland. So to jazz it up we added a significant more amount of cheese as well as some salt and chipotle powder. Final result.. AMAZING :) I would say try this recipe, tasting as you go to find what additions work best for you. Pros: Easy Cons: Needs some fixes
November 10, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Perfect, just what I was hoping for! This soup was amazing! I made a number of adjustments based on personal taste and previous comments. The soup turned out phenomenal! It is soooo good and just what I was hoping for from a cheddar ale soup. Details: -added 1 shallot and 2 cloves of garlic to the chopped onion -added a little crushed red pepper to the onion mix while it cooked -used an excellently flavorful beer (Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale) -used fresh red potatoes instead of frozen precooked -used all beef broth instead of veg broth and water -mashed to a lumpy texture -used half & half instead of milk -used excellent cheeses (7 oz block of dubliner, 8 0z block of aged extra sharp cheddar) -at the end added 3 splashes of Worcestershire Sauce Clearly, this is not the healthiest version now, but it is maybe the best cheddar ale soup I've ever had! No joke. Absolutely fantastic. Pros: simple, delicious, easy to adapt
October 29, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
love this recipe! I have so many potatoes in my root cellar, and needed to use up some milk, so I made this over the weekend. I love this recipe! Leftovers were great too.
November 04, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Making this soup only using the recipe is bland. However adding cayenne pepper kicks it up several notches. I also add more cheddar maybe a full 2 cups, i never measure, guesstimate. Bags of pre-cooked pots sound gross to me so I use only Yukon gold approx. half a 5 lb. bag. Puree this soup makes it quite boring, leaving some soft potato chucks in it makes for variety. I also found adding chopped carrots, celery and onions was a nice touch. I have made this soup many many times; using the recipe exactly how it is is a great base and adding to it make this soup even better!!
October 05, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
We always add a few splashes of malt vinegar to our potato soup at serving. Based on some of the comments, I'm thinking that might perk up this soup as well.
September 17, 2010
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By: crosby2000
Very bland, no matter what I added to it. :P
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