Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a soup person.

Chili? Always.

Soup? Eh.

To be fair, soup in my house growing up meant Campbell’s. The tomato soup was always made with water. {Yuck.} The brothy soups were bland, not filling, and frankly the meat in them just creeped me out.

I’m not a soup person.

Except that, maybe I am.

Something seems to have changed this year.

Maybe it’s because Sheena keeps posting some of the most delicious look soup ever?

Maybe it’s because I’m incredibly stubborn and am seeing how long we can go before we have to turn the heat on, so a nice warm bowl of soup sounds like perfection?

Maybe it’s because soup made from scratch, while still ridiculously easy, is exactly one and a half million times better than soup from a can?

Either way, I’ve been making soup.

This soup is the gateway soup. Between the bacon, aged cheddar cheese, and the dark wheat beer, there really is nowhere this sucker can go but on the keepers list.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

{I had been dreaming about a broccoli cheddar soup with bacon and a dark wheat beer. After looking at tons of recipes, I liked From Away’s method best and used it as my base and inspiration. I altered the amounts to serve two, added the broccoli, and omitted some of the other ingredients.}

4 ounces {120 grams} thick cut bacon, chopped into bits
1/2 of a medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of broccoli {I used about 3/4 of a head and chopped it up pretty small}
1 Tbsp thyme
salt and pepper
1 cup of beer {I used a dark wheat beer. My recommendation: Schneider Weiss Aventinus or Franziskaner Royal}
1 cup of chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cream {I used soy.}
5 ounces {150 grams} of cheddar cheese

This is one of those recipes where its best to have everything prepped before you get started. So chop that bacon, onion, and broccoli. Peel the garlic and put it in the press.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Now let’s get started.

Heat a large pot in medium high heat.

Once hot, toss the bacon in there and cook it for a couple of minutes. You just want the fat to render and for it to cook up a bit. When it’s finished, transfer it to a bowl and set it to the side.

Back in the pot, throw your onion, broccoli, and minced garlic in and give it a stir. Cook for about 5 minutes or until it all starts to get tender. Stir regularly so all of that nice bacon grease on the bottom of the pan gets incorporated. Season the veggies with some thyme, salt and pepper.

Add about half of the beer {1/2 cup} to the pot and let it simmer away for 3 or 4 minutes until it has reduced by half. Then add the chicken stock.

While the beer and stock are reducing, we’ll make the roux to thicken this baby up. In a separate little pot, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour slowly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking for a couple minutes, then add it to the soup. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes while the whole thing thickens up.

Once the soup is coating your spoon, add the cream and the rest of the beer and give it a stir.

You can turn the heat off at this point, but leave the pot where it is. Add the bacon back in and start stirring in the cheese. It might take a couple minutes for the cheese to completely melt, but just keep stirring until the chunks are gone.

Serve it with bread. Serve it in a bowl. Serve it in a bread bowl. But most importantly, enjoy every bite!

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

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Quinoa Stir Fry

My first experience with quinoa was back in college in one of my food science labs. My teacher presented its as this wonder food that was a grain AND a complete protein {meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino acids which are usually only available in animal products}. We then proceeded to make one of the most delicious casseroles I’ve ever had with it, so naturally I was hooked.

But quinoa really is the wonder grain now. I can understand why its been a fave for vegans, but I’m loving that all us omnivores have jumped on the bandwagon too. In theory, and for a while there it did make it easier to get. A few weeks ago I posted an article about the economics of quinoa, and I understand that it’s not always an easy or cheap grain alternative. We are so lucky that a 500g bag is still just 5 euro here which, compared to a lot of places is a steal.

If quinoa is scarce in your area right now, then go ahead and try it with some brown rice. However, I would throw in a chicken breast or and extra egg just to get that extra protein!

Kiwi+Peach: Quinoa Stir Fry

Quinoa Stir Fry

{adapted for two from DamnDelicious}

The Quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 tsp salt

The Egg
olive oil
1 egg
1 green onion {optional}

The Veg
olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 small white onion {or 1/2 of a large one}
1 cup fresh mushrooms
2 cups of broccoli {or 1/2 a head}
1/2 of a zucchini
1 ear of corn, cooked

The Juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp. ginger

Start heating a medium sized pot and a large pan with deep sides on medium high heat. Go ahead an boil your jug. In a sieve, rinse your quinoa under hot water for a couple of minutes to rinse off the powdery saponin on the grain that has a really bitter taste. Very important step!

Once the jug has boiled, measure your water and add it to the pot along with the salt. Once it comes to a boil, add the quinoa and reduce the temperature to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.

While the quinoa is cooking away, pour a bit of olive oil in the pan {just enough for the egg not to stick} and add the egg. Scramble and cook until done then put it in a bowl and set to the side. Return the pan to the heat. {If you have a green onion, slice it up and scramble it in with the egg.}

Now get to chopping. This is all about timing. Mince your garlic and onion first. Then get to work on the mushrooms, broccoli, and zucchini. Wash the mushrooms, remove their stems, and then slice ’em up. Cut the florets off the head of broccoli and give them a rinse. Wash your zucchini, slice into half inch-ish sized slices, and then quarter those slices. Cut the kernels of corn off the ear and break them up into individual kernels.

Add the olive oil to the hot pan and toss in the minced garlic and onions. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Toss in the mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, and corn and cook until the broccoli and zucchini are soft enough for your liking. {Usually 5-7 minutes for us.}

The quinoa should be finishing up by now, so use a fork to fluff it up a bit and remove it from the heat.

When your veggies are appropriately soft, add the quinoa to the pan. {I push all the veggies to the side, add a little bit more olive oil to the empty part of the pan and then add the quinoa a little at a time so that the quinoa can get a little bit crispy.} Go ahead and throw that scrambled egg back in there too and mix well.

Season with a little soy sauce and ginger and cook for a couple more minutes. Serve it up and enjoy. I always use a little sriracha sauce on mine for an extra little kick, but it’s just as delicious without.