Is a vegan beer cheese soup possible? This is something I have been wondering about for a long time, for some reason. To be honest, I don’t even think I have tasted a real beer cheese soup, but I like beer and certainly used to like cheese! Loved it, in fact. After being without it for ten months (!), however, I find that nutritional yeast blended with the right ingredients really satisfies that umami craving.
So, when I came across this recipe for Cheesy Cabbage Potato Soup on Melomeals, I was pretty excited. The first time I made it, I left out some ingredients and it was still phenomenal. But then I started thinking about the addition of beer. Beer and “cheese” seemed like a pretty spectacular combo. It also struck me as kind of German.
I am half German, as my dad was born in a small town on the Rhein. As such, I have a wonderful Oma. She is a remarkable woman that I deeply admire and also happens to be a fantastic cook. She manages to make everything taste good, partly thanks (I suspect) due to the addition of bacon. Yep, Germans aren’t exactly known vegans.
When my sister (also a vegetarian) and I visit her, she makes an effort to accommodate our annoying dietary needs. She stocks up on things like veggie ground round and hunts for recipes that we can eat. Last time I was there, she was even eating hemp hearts daily!
As I made this soup, I thought of my Oma and her wonderful soups. She starts many meals with a flavourful bowl of potato or noodle soup and always insists on us taking seconds, even thirds if we can handle it! A week with Oma means being stuffed and spoiled rotten.
So, although this soup tastes nothing like any of hers, I thought it would be a good one to serve to my dad this Sunday for Father’s Day. Papa, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re game for a veganized, vaguely German classic!
Confession: I intended on using gluten-free beer, but ended up using Old Milwaukee, which is NOT gluten-free. It is, however, vegan. Click here to check out vegan-friendly beers. Also, I ended up having to add quite a bit of additional salt, which I did not measure. So, add salt to taste, or use veggie broth instead of water and omit the added bouillon. If you do try this recipe, feel free to leave a comment below and tell us about how you tweaked it. Together, I believe we can make the yummiest beer cheese soup ever!
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 large white onions, chopped
3 small carrots (around 1 cup), chopped
8 cups shredded green cabbage (most of a smallish head)
4 potatoes, cut in bite-size pieces
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
5 tsp. bouillon powder
1 bay leaf
6 cups boiled water
salt and pepper
1 bottle or can gluten-free beer
1 block lite silken tofu
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. tahini
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. tamari
In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium low. When hot, add onions, carrot, thyme, and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté until onions are translucent.
Add garlic, potatoes and cabbage, turning heat up to medium. Let the veggies cook while you boil a kettleful of water.
When kettle has boiled, add 6 cups hot water, bouillon, and bay leaf and turn heat to high.
Once the soup is back up to a boil, cover and turn heat to low, simmering for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
While soup is simmering, make your “cheese”. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until very smooth. I blended mine, and had to add a little bit of water to unstick it.
Once potatoes are soft, take the pot off the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Stir in beer, followed by the “cheese”. Set blender aside, without rinsing. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added quite a bit of salt at this point.
If you want a thicker soup like I did, blend 4 cups in the still-”cheesy” blender. Gets all that good stuff out!
Genießen! (Enjoy, according to Google translate)
Makes a large pot of soup. You may want to halve this recipe if you don’t want a lot of leftovers.