Monday 14 October 2019

Oktoberfest Ale Potato Cheese Soup

I love this time of year, when the oppressive heat of summer has faded into crisp mornings, with the scent of dry and mulching leaves and a hint of wood smoke carried on the brisk, autumn breezes. 
It's the perfect time for hearty soups and fresh, whole grain breads to warm body and soul on these chilly nights! 

So, the other day, we got a bunch of potatoes from my daughter, and I had this Black Butte Porter that I'd been wanting to use in my Ram copycat beer cheese soup, but I didn't have any bacon or ham thawed. What I did have thawed though, was a pack of German sausages. Then I realised, "Hey! It's October! I should make an Oktoberfest soup thing!"  And thus was born this recipe. It turned out absolutely delicious, filling, and perfect with a nice, crusty bread. Round it out with a nice, dark greens salad and you've got a spread worthy of any table!

Oktoberfest Ale Potato Cheese Soup

Yield: approx 6 quarts

• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 2-4 cloves minced garlic
• 2-4 med onions onion, chopped or sliced
• 1 cup shredded or finely chopped red cabbage
• 1 lb smoked sausages cut into disks about 1/4" thick
• About 1/4 lb baby carrots or chopped regular carrots
• 1 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
• 2-3 tsp freshly ground black pepper or pepper medley (more or less to taste)
• 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
• 1tsp mustard powder
• 2 Tbsp each chicken and beef broth base
• 8 or so medium sized potatoes (any variety/ies) - chopped into bite sized pieces
• A pint of your favourite dark ale, porter, or stout
• 6 or so cups filtered water
• 1-2 Cups shredded, sharp cheddar
• 1/2 - 1 lb sour cream

1. In a 6qt or larger pot, sauté onion, cabbage, and garlic in the oil until onions  start to turn transparent
Add sausage and continue sautéing a few minutes longer, until the sausages are slightly seared.
2. Add carrots, spices, and broth base and sauté a few minutes more (keep stirring - be sure to scrape bottom of pot regularly).
4. Add potatoes, ale, and enough water to reach just below the fill line/top of pot and give a good stir.(If using Instant pot, lock lid on with valve set to pressure and set it for 13 minutes on manual - let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes or so - then ok to manually release. Skip steps 5 & 6).
5. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
6. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.
7. Add cheese and sour cream and stir in until smoothly combined.
8. Enjoy!

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