Cheddar Ale Soup with Tomato Panini and Winter Spice Cocktail

Cheddar Ale Soup Recipe – Woah! That’s a title, huh?

Wednesdays are generally dedicated to Megan and me tearing it up in my kitchen and cooking fun and exciting meals! So, you can understand when I say I wake up with a certain giddiness on Wednesday mornings, knowing that my kitchen fun is only hours away!

SEE ALSOVanilla Spice Cupcakes with Apple Cider Frosting

We started our menu planning off with a delicious Cheddar Ale Soup. Wanting to create a cool twist on the old grilled cheese and tomato soup classic, we switched this duo up by making a Tomato and Onion Chutney Panini. We finished this meal with a delicious, soul warming Winter Spice cocktail, which is one of my favorite we’ve made in awhile!

And, the explosion, you ask?! Well, Megan and I thought that roasted chestnuts would be a great topping for our soup. We sort of looked at each other when reading how to roast chestnuts and asked “why do you have to cut an “X” in the chestnut”? Not wanting to disobey orders, I cut a thin, shallow “X” in the top of each chestnut and popped them in the oven. A few minutes later, we heard a “pop, pop, pop!” and wondered, WHAT IS THAT?!?!? It was chestnuts EXPLODING in my oven! Apparently, that knife slice needs to be pretty deep into the chestnut, so they don’t explode! Yikes!!!

Luckily, we were able to salvage some of the chestnuts, and we topped the soup with all of our desired toppings. Megan and I caught up over an evening of complaining about work, gossiping about roommates and otherwise chattering about anything and everything. It’s why I love Wednesdays! And our Cheddar Ale Soup was the perfect warm, hearty dinner to chat over.

Cheddar Ale Soup recipe
Cheddar Ale Soup recipe

Anyway… on to the recipes!

Cheddar Ale Soup Recipe


8 slices of center cut bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
5 stalks of celery, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
24 ounces of stout beer
4 c chicken stock
2 tsp herbs de provence
1 tsp chili powder
3 tsp herb salt
1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp tabasco sauce
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
5 c shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c shredded gruyere cheese


brown bacon in deep pan or dutch oven
add onion, garlic and celery, sautee 3-5 minutes
add stout beer and stock, reduce at a simmer for 10 minutes
blend broth with immersion blender (or in a food processor) until thinned
add cheese, worcestershire sauce and herbs
simmer 10-15 minutes
add flour and combine well
simmer an additional 10 minutes until well combined
top with toasted bread, scallions or toasted chestnuts


Tomato Panini with Onion Chutney

2 hothouse tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 rolls of crusty Italian bread
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp each of chicken stock and stout beer
1 tbsp corn starch
2 slices of provolone cheese

preheat oven to 325
put cornstarch, onions, garlic, vinegar, stock and beer in a pot and simmer 20 minutes until reduced and thickened
halve rolls and brush with Italian bread
top with tomatoes, onion chutney and provolone
bake in oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted

dip in soup when served

Cheddar Ale Soup
Cheddar Ale Soup

Winter Spice Cocktail Recipe :

1/4 c winter spice simple syrup*
1/2 c gin
1/2 c vodka
1 c ginger ale
cinnamon stick garnish

1/4 c maple sugar
1/4 c sugar

combine sugar and maple sugar in a shallow tea plate
wet each glass and dip rim into sugar mixture
combine first three ingredients in martini shaker and shake vigorously
strain into 4 highball glasses filled with ice cubes
top with ginger ale
garnish with cinnamon stick

*Winter Spice Simple Syrup

1 c water
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
3 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp allspice
6 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp ginger

bring all ingredients to a simmer, whisking constantly to combine
strain through a mesh sieve
chill liquid overnight


Winter Spice Cocktail
Winter Spice Cocktail

SEE ALSO :  A Drink They Call Loneliness
I’ve added some pics of my pathetic pup begging from Megan. It’s so sad, it’s cute. Megan has a pupster, Oliver (he will make his blog debut soon!). He came over tonight so he and Roxie could have a play date. He’s her boyfriend. Oliver is getting groomed on Friday, and he requested that I wait to photograph him until he was camera ready 😉

Random Comment – ok, so I just watched Iron Chef, which I Tivo on Thursdays – Cat Cora did almost the same thing we did! A Cheddar Beer soup with a Tomato sandwich! So weird!! I feel so cool now that Cat Cora and I are on the same page!!

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