Let me list the adjectives that describe this soup: warm, earthy, cheesy, yummy, satisfying, smokey, fall-spicy...is that a term? Well, it is now.
If you're not familiar with Butterkäse cheese, it's a semi-soft, cow's milk cheese which definitely has a buttery flavor and appearance. If you'd can't this cheese, Gouda or muenster is a good substitute.
I used Blue Moon's Pumpkin Ale in this batch. It adds a nice subtle hint of Fall spices. You can either puree the soup just before it's time to add the browned sausages back into the pot or you can leave the vegetables in nice chunks. Your choice.
Here's the ingredients:
4 uncooked bratwurst sausages, cubed
2 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 T. caraway seed
2 T. flour
1 - 12 oz. bottle of seasonal pumpkin beer
32 oz. of chicken stock
1 cup water
3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup half and half
1 t. mustard powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded butterkäse cheese (or Gouda or muenster)
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar
3 - 4 T. chopped fresh dill
Heat 1 T. of the oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Brown the cubed bratwurst on all sides. Remove the sausages and set aside.
Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and saute the onion, carrots and caraway seeds for about 10 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
Sprinkle in the four and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
Pour in the beer, chicken stock, and water, whisking to combine the flour and liquid. Add in the potatoes and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are cooked.
Remove the bay leaves and add the Worcestershire sauce, half and half, mustard, salt and pepper.
At this point, if you choose to, you can take an immersion blender and blend the soup briefly, so it was thickened but there were still whole veggies left. Of course, you can just leave it chunky if you want to as well.
Add the sausages to the pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer, then take it off the heat to slowly add in the cheese, stirring until the cheese has completely melted and the soup is smooth. Sprinkle in the dill just before serving.
Adapted from The Maine Food and Lifestyle.