Recipes From Disney: Beer Cheese Soup
If you look on the menu for beer cheese soup you will not find it. It is called Canadian cheddar cheese soup.
Where To Start
I guess there is no better way to begin than by asking if you have been blessed enough to try the famed beer cheese soup at Le Cellier. Well, have you? No? If not then I am, sadly, in that boat with you. And, if you have then I hope you will let me know how closely this matches up. (To be completely honest it should as the recipe comes from Disney chefs themselves.)
I have been lucky enough to dine at Le Cellier twice in my life. The first I didn't enjoy it as I was considerably younger and a much pickier eater. I'll just come out and say it: I didn't eat steak. I was an 11 year-old at a steakhouse. It would be accurate to say that 11 year old Alex was not impressed with the menu options. The second chance I had at dinner at Le Cellier I was much more excited. You see, 26 year-old Alex can appreciate a nice steak as it is something that she cannot afford very often.
My parents had gone on their first solo Disney trip and decided to treat themselves to a dinner at Le Cellier. After all, it is difficult to get a reservation and everyone has nothing but fantastic things to say about it. They loved it. They talked about that meal for an entire year before we had the chance to go back. So, when my parents invited my and my boyfriend to join them at Walt Disney World I was excited. And when they told us we would be having dinner at Le Cellier I was already planning my meal with great anticipation.
I knew exactly what I wanted: beer cheese soup, a great steak, and maple creme brûlée. Well, the actual meal turned out a little different. My parents, and our waiter, highly recommend that we get poutine. For those of you that aren't familiar with this Canadian dish it is basically fancy cheese fries. And, everyone that knows me knows of my love of cheese fries. So, to make a long story short I couldn't justify ordering the beer cheese soup with all of the other food we were getting, and especially when I knew there was no way (no matter how amazing it was) that I would be able to finish it.
Beer Cheese Soup
Everyone that I have met that has had the beer cheese soup at Le Cellier recommends it. There are many people that would rank it as one of the best dishes at Le Cellier. And that is saying something as Le Cellier is considered to be one of the best restaurants at Walt Disney World.
But, beer cheese soup isn't just for Canadians. It is a dish that can be commonly found in the northern states of the midwest. I had the chance to try it when I made the pilgrimage to Green Bay Wisconsin. (If you could not guess, I am a Packers fan.) The beer cheese soup that I had there was very good, and warmed me up on the chilly spring trip. But, I wouldn't write home and rave about it. It was soup. But, with so many people talking about Le Cellier's I knew that this was something I had to have.
The PrepClick thumbnail to view full-size
So, how was I able to try this dish that I had been looking forward to for nearly a year? I made it myself. I had decided that I wanted a Disney cookbook while I was on vacation. And, on the last day I purchased one. It was the only Disney cookbook that I could find at the parks, even though on previous trips I had seen at least three different versions.
On the plane home I started going through my purchase. Right in the middle was the recipe for beer cheese soup. It was a sign. I was going to make it and have a little of Le Cellier at home.
It was two days after we got home that I made this amazing soup. The first day after we had gotten back we went to a wedding, and it took up most of our day. The second day we sent it driving around the seven cities area looking at rental properties that we had found on-line. As the day grew on our hope fell further and further. I got the idea that we needed a little Disney to help boost our spirits. And, as sad as it may be, but just two days home from Walt Disney World and I was already feeling the withdraw.
I had planned to serve the soup with a hearty bread. But, when I started making the soup I realized that I had forgotten to get the bread maker going and I didn't pick any up at the store. So, my boyfriend being the amazing guy that he is took off to the store to bring me bread. He quite literally put bread on the table that night, and exceeded my expectations that day by bringing bread bowls from Panera. Our domestic game was strong that day.
I spent a little more on the ingredients that I thought I was going to. But, I did surge and buy the good cheese at the crookery store. It is pricier than the pre-sheadded stuff, but I can assure you that the soup will be better for it. If I can give you any words of advise for this recipe it is to buy the better cheese. Trust me.
Getting It Together
- 1/2 Pound Bacon, Cut in 1/4 inch or smaller pieces
- 1 Red Onion, Medium, cut in 1/4 inch or smaller pieces
- 3 Celer Stalks, Cut in 1/4 inch or smaller pieces
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock, I am found of low sodium, but regular will do just fine
- 4 Cups Milk, I used skim milk, but it would be richer with whole milk
- 1 Pound White Cheddar, Grated, I like aged cheddar for this soup
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1Tbsp Tabasco Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Pale Ale, Room temperature
- 4 Tbsp Butter, I like unsalted
Important to Note
The soup will be thick when you are done so do not be concerned if it is a little difficult to stir. If you would like to make the platting a little more fancy you can garnish the top with some chives, scallions, or chopped bacon.
Putting It All Together
- Prepare the bacon and vegetables as directed.
- Cook the bacon until lightly browned in a 5 quart Dutch over or stock pot.
- Add the onion, celery, and butter to the bacon. Stirring frequently until the onions have softened.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour. Make sure to stir constantly for about 4 minutes. When whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a boil for about a minute.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Add the milk and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Make sure that the soup does not boil after you have added the milk!
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cheese, tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and any salt and pepper you may like.
- Once the soup is smooth add in the beer. If your soup is too thick at this point you can add a little more milk, just make sure that it is warmed first.
Overall this recipe isn't that difficult. It is a lot of prep time and a lot of stirring. I think it is a great recipe for a football game or a cold night in the middle of winter. I think it might be a little too much for a hot summer day, but I would still eat it. it is that good. I loved the paring with the bread bowl. It looked great for presentation, saved me some dishes (but not really, because we still used plates), and was delicious. We paired the soup with some of the beer that we had put in it. Of course it tasted great with it! And, i don't know if you already know this or not but a 1/2 cup of beer is not a full bottle. This meant that I had to drink some while I was making it. Darn!
I think this soup is a fantastic way to bring a little Disney magic home. I wish you the best of luck trying it out and hope you enjoy it as much as we did.