Bratwurst & Beer Cheese Soup

Sorry for the little break! We just got back from a lovely little trip to Chicago to visit my Dad’s family. We enjoyed brisk weather, changing leaves, and Bingo! Plus, my wonderful Grandma floated some new cookie recipes my way. Guess I’ll be making goodie boxes for Christmas presents this year! 😀

Now, this little gem of a recipe was just waiting for me in a Taste of Home magazine my mother gave me when we moved into our new home nearly a year ago. I tweaked it by replacing the Velveeta Cheese (ick!) with some Gouda, upping the Worcestershire (yum!), and subbing one of the cans of celery soup for a can of cheddar cheese soup.

Ingredients:

  • 6 bratwurst
  • 10 oz can cream of celery soup
  • 10 oz can cheddar soup
  • 12 oz beer, preferably a pale ale
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • ½ lb Gouda cheese
  • ½ lb shredded Cheddar cheese 

Directions:

  1. Cook the bratwurst in a large skillet until crispy on the outside and cooked all the way through. Cut into small pieces. Pat off the grease with a paper towel, and set aside.
  2. In a large stockpot or crockpot, add both cans of soup, the beer, half & half, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, onion powder and Cheddar cheese.
  3. Remove the rind from the Gouda cheese. Slice thinly and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Add to soup and stir over medium-high heat until melted.
  4. Add the bratwurst. Cover and heat through.

And nothing goes better with beer cheese (or beer cheese soup) than a big, soft pretzel. AH-maaaaaaazing! 🙂 This is a thick, creamy, flavorful soup that is perfect for fall.

Bratwurst & Beer Cheese Soup

Bratwurst & Beer Cheese Soup

It was really the perfect end to an October Sunday of pumpkin picking and carving!

Love me some pumpkins!

Love me some pumpkins!

They want some Beer Cheese Soup, too!

They want some Beer Cheese Soup, too!

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Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

My husband really likes the Chicken & Gnocchi soup at Olive Garden. So, he was pretty excited when I found this copycat recipe on Pinterest!

I’ve tweaked it a little bit. For example: no carrots because I’m lazy and I just don’t feel like shredding carrots, or buying a bag of shredded carrots that I won’t use up. Also, canned shredded chicken is easier – and makes my cats very happy. Too bad they don’t like shredded carrots as much as they like chicken juice.  🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 quart half & half
  • 2 cans of minced chicken
  • 16 oz package of gnocchi
  • 14 oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mince the onions, slice the celery, and mince the garlic.
  2. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and sauté the onion, celery, and garlic until soft.
  3. Melt the butter, and then add the flour to form a roux. Stir and cook 1 minute until it becomes like a paste. Slowly incorporate the half & half.
  4. Add shredded chicken to the stockpot.
  5. While the soup thickens, cook the gnocchi according to the package directions.
  6. Add the chicken broth, gnocchi, spinach and seasonings. Cover and heat through.
Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

This soup is pretty simple, and it goes great with a nice crusty bread or breadsticks!

And, bonus ! I made another copycat recipe to go along with the soup: Macaroni Grill’s Shrimp & Avocado Crostini. 🙂

Shrimp & Avocado Crostini

Shrimp & Avocado Crostini

This is probably my favorite appetizer of all time! So yummy! Here’s the recipe. It’s a bit time intensive, but so worth it!

ShrimpCrostiniRecipe

Zesty Pumpkin Soup with Orange Sour Cream

How is it that just the image of a pumpkin can evoke all the excitement and expectation of the fall season? I really do love pumpkins. I love their interesting shape and bright color. I love picking them out, carving them and decorating with them … and then roasting the seeds! 🙂

I think it’s pretty appropriate that the first soup I serve in my new pumpkin soup tureen is a PUMPKIN soup! This Zesty Pumpkin Soup recipe is one of my all time favorites from the Big Red Cookbook, and it is actually pretty simple.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tblsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 15 oz solid pack pumpkin
  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 1 tbsp triple sec
  • 3 tbsp orange juice

Directions:

1) Mince the garlic. Chop the onion. Don’t cry.

2) In a large skillet, melt butter and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add curry powder, salt, coriander, and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

3) In a large soup pot, heat the chicken broth to a boil. Add the spice and onion mixture. Boil gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Your house will smell sooo good! 🙂

4) Stir in the pumpkin and half & half. Cook for 5 minutes – do not boil.

5) Transfer to a blender or use a hand blender to puree until creamy.

6) In a small bowl, mix sour cream, triple sec, and orange juice. Drizzle the Orange Sour Cream over the soup as desired.

Zesty Pumpkin Soup

Zesty Pumpkin Soup

No lie — this is one of the best soups I’ve ever tasted. It has just the right amount of kick and so much flavor. I could probably eat the entire batch on my own. It’s really good with some nice sourdough bread!

Zesty Pumpkin Soup with Orange Sour Cream

Zesty Pumpkin Soup with Orange Sour Cream

Fall is for Soup!

Let’s start this post on an adorable note. Look at my new salt and pepper shakers!!!

They were $0.99 each at Cracker Barrel!

They were $0.99 each at Cracker Barrel!

Pumpkins, turning leaves, cooler weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving – there are so many things to love about Fall! And soup is definitely on my Things I Love About Fall list. That being said, I think you can guess how excited I am about this:

My first soup tureen!

My first soup tureen!

My mother just got a new pumpkin soup tureen from Pier1, so I inherited this beauty! Now, I have to make soup. There’s just no way around it. 🙂

  1. Zesty Pumpkin Soup with Orange Sour Cream
  2. Chicken & Gnocchi Soup
  3. Bratwurst & Beer Cheese Soup

There are some trusted favorites, and some brand new recipes I’ve never tried. Stay tuned over the next several weeks as I cook my way through this list!