Bierkasesuppe (Beer and Cheese Soup)


  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small leek, white and green parts, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 24 ounces Spaten Optimator, Ayinger Celebrator, or other double-bock beer
  • 1 pound Emmentaler or Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 slices hearty rye bread, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped


Sweat onion, leek, garlic, carrot and celery in butter, about 6 minutes. Add beer, cheese, Worcestershire, thyme, salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, stirring often for about 45 minutes to blend the flavors. Add bread and continue cooking, stirring often, until the bread softens, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to blender and puree. Return to pot, reheat gently, and ladle into bowls. Garnish with chives. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Adapted from “New German Cooking: Classics Revisited” by Jeremy and Jessica Nolen (Chronicle, 2015).