My friend Kim Hanks claims this Bacon & Beer Cheese Soup is healthy since it contains her three favorite food groups: bacon, cheese, and beer. Health experts may disagree on that fact, but will agree that it is luscious. Since it’s made in the slow cooker, and is easy to assemble, everyone will find time to make it whether or not the healthy aspect is important.
Adding chicken is optional, but makes the soup extra good and filling. You can use rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken from a previous meal, or even microwave a breast or two if it’s more convenient. Leftover turkey can also be used. The soup is made creamy with two cans of condensed soup. You can also double the amount of vegetables to make it chunkier.
I found that it is much easier to make this soup in a multi-cooker, since multi-cookers have a browning function so the bacon and roux can be made in one pot, and there are no additional pans to wash. However, the initial prep can be done in a large skillet; the results will be the same. Whichever method you choose, you’ll find this soup destined to become a favorite.
The finished soup is even better when topped with crunchy croutons, and can be garnished with green onions or chives which add even more flavor. It can also be served with a salad or sandwich, but is hearty enough for a full meal on its own.
1/2 pound bacon, preferably peppered, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 12 oz. bottle Guinness, or other beer
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 to 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, cored and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound (4 cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Croutons and chopped green onions or chives for garnish
- In a 4-6 quart multi-cooker, cook the bacon until crisp; remove from the pan to paper towels to drain, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.
- Stir in the flour, and mix (on the brown setting), letting the mixture cook until bubbly.
- Whisk in the milk; stir until smooth.
- Add the beer and chicken broth, stirring until hot.
- Alternately, do this in a large skillet and transfer to a crockery slow cooker.
- Cover, set the slow cooker to low, and let cook 4-6 hours or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Stir in the chicken.
- Whisk in the cream of chicken soup, cayenne pepper, and cheese.
- Stir well, and let cook an additional 15-20 minutes (or up to an hour or two if it’s more convenient) until the cheese is melted.
- Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve with the crumbled bacon, crisp croutons, and chopped green onions or chives.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 326 Calories from Fat 188
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 58% Protein 26% Carb. 14%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 21 g
Saturated Fat 11 g
Cholesterol 70 mg
Sodium 1259 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 21 g
Vitamin A 77% Vitamin C 37% Calcium 0% Iron 6%