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This rich beer and cheddar soup is hearty and satisfying, while the addition of seared Polska Kielbasa sausage and apples takes it to the next level.
In the fall, I always love a good excuse to celebrate anything: Halloween, Thanksgiving and even though there isn’t a German bone in my half-Irish, half-Jewish body, Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and traveling fair. Held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, it is a 16-day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year.
Though I’m not much of a beer drinker, I do like a party. As with any football game watch parties, where I show up at a party for the delicious snacks that usually accompany a big game, I am all for celebrating Oktoberfest for the Bavarian pretzels and apple strudel. And this year, beer and cheddar soup with Polska Kielbasa.
I’ve always been a fan of the Hillshire Farm brand, stocking up on their deli meats for lunches and brats for summer grilling. Now, I’m also hooked on their Polska Kielbasa, which start with quality cuts of meat, such as beef, pork, and turkey, and then are slow-cooked with natural spices to round out a savory and delicious meal.
You can find them in the same section of your grocery store, or Walmart, where you buy deli products. My first instinct was to look by the ground beef and pork near the butcher counter, but you’ll find Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa among your favorite bacon, sausage and encased meats.
Beer and cheddar soup is a great, quick and inexpensive recipe to make during and after Oktoberfest. All you need are a few simple ingredients, most of which you already have in your refrigerator or pantry.
If you keep it simple, this is a rich and savory beer and cheddar soup that you can customize to your liking, whether it be with broccoli or with Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa. This version includes Polska Kielbasa and chopped apples, the perfect fit for your recipes this fall.
Though alcohol does generally cook out of food, the entire alcohol content doesn’t always evaporate or boil away before the food is served. It can take up to two and a half hours of cooking for that to occur, so if you’re avoiding alcohol or serving someone under 21, you can substitute apple cider for fall flavor, without the hard stuff.
- 2 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 12 ounces lager
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups (8 ounces) mild cheddar, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound link Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa, diced
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- Heat two tablespoons oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is soft but not browned, for approximately 8–10 minutes.
- Add butter, stir until melted. Add flour and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the mixture turns golden brown (this should take about four minutes).
- Slowly whisk in broth, beer, and cream, adding about ½ cup of liquid at a time. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until mixture has thickened, about 10–15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add cheese a handful at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes to ensure cheese is melted.
- Transfer soup to a blender and purée until smooth (or, you can use an immersion blender in the pot, which is my preference). Season soup with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until sausages are browned and crisp in spots, 5-8 minutes minutes. Apple should be softened and slightly charred. Transfer to a plate.
- Divide soup among bowls; top with sausage and apple. Serve immediately.