Michael Smith’s Cheddar & Ale Soup

Ale soup was far from my radar. But then three things happened, in this order:

1) on my flight to (or from?) Vancouver last week I watched Michael Smith, whom I’m going to see in a few days in Jasper, make cheddar and ale soup on the little TV in front of me. It looked good, even though I’m not a beer fan. It reminded me of something we got once upon a time at a pub. That might have been the fantasy me in which I live in London with a rugby player.

2) I met a food writer from the Yukon for lunch yesterday. She brought me, among other things, halloumi cheese made by a blind goat herder, and a bottle of Whitehorse-brewed ale.

3) upon my return home I received an email request for all things warm and cheesy and loaded with carbs for CBC this morning. David asked specifically for cheddar and beer soup, please. He had never had it. All signs pointed to making this.

It was about as easy as it gets – saute the onion, celery and carrot in butter (Michael uses lots), shake some flour over top (mixing it with the veggies and fat prevents lumps) then adding ale, stock and cream and bringing it to a simmer to let it thicken. Then stir in a couple handfuls of grated cheese. Couldn’t possibly be easier. I do wish soup photographed a little better. Tastes better than it looks.

I’ll fill you in on the quick baguette secret tomorrow.

cheddar ale soup
cheddar ale soup

Michael Smith’s Cheddar & Ale Soup

Recipe link


November 1, 2011

adapted from Michael Smith!


1/2 cup butter (or half butter, half olive or canola oil)

1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1/4 cup flour

1 bottle dark beer

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy 35% cream (or 18% coffee cream, or half & half)

2 cups grated old cheddar (or aged Gouda!)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

a dash of Worcestershire sauce


1In a medium pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until starting to turn golden. Add the celery and carrot and continue to sauté for a few minutes more. Shake the flour overtop and stir to coat the veggies. Add the beer, stock and cream and simmer until the soup has thickened, about five minutes more. Add the grated cheddar, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce and stir until smooth. Serves 4-6.


About Julie

You May Also Like

21 comments on “Michael Smith’s Cheddar & Ale Soup

  1. H-woman
    November 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    YUM! Michael Smith makes good soup–his mushroom soup is literally to DIE for!!

    Must add dark beer & aged gouda (I’m thinking a little Sylvan Star Aged Grizzly would be fabulous) to grocery list…

  2. the other Al
    November 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Ooooh married to a Rugby player with a bowl of cheese soup! Having hot fuzzy daydreams means winter must definitely be around the corner…

  3. Laurie from Burnaby
    November 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Looks good. I’ll make it for my son. Thanks :)

  4. Jamie
    November 1, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    I’ve had the pleasure of sampling that blind guy’s cheeses, he(Brian Lendrum)sells them at a farmers market in Whitehorse, they are delicious. Here’s an article about him and his sustainable farm in the local newspaper up there.

  5. Nealey @ Dixie Caviar
    November 2, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I made cheddar & ale soup for Christmas tree trimming last year. It was delicious, but definitely extremely cheesy. A Once-per-year type soup, for sure.

    Your version looks great as always!

  6. Sue. D
    November 2, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Oh wow. Supper for tonight – can’t wait!

  7. Jan @ Family Bites
    November 2, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Mmm…I think I know what soup I’ll be making for dinner this weekend.

  8. Sue
    November 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I Love Michael Smith!

  9. Stacy
    November 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Michael smith is my favorite chef! I love PEI too. Just wish I could make myself run into him by accident there lol.
    Yummy soup!

  10. molly
    November 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Say what you will about the photo. I’d eat it right through my screen, would that I could.

  11. Erica B.
    November 2, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Love soup; nothing goes better with it than good bread–there’s a distinct lack of good bread out here. Baguette secret pretty pretty please! :)

  12. Brigitte
    November 8, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I made it last night and it will be for lunch today. Super easy and fast to make. And, of course, we had a taste….so good. Perfect for a cold day.

  13. Ana Fernández
    November 15, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Dear Julie,

    I might try this soup for dinner tonight, however I´ll use Spanish cheese instead cheddar, as I don´t have any other cheese at home and I don´t really have time to go on shopping, though I´m sure it´ll work out as Spanish cheese is so delicious and tasty that it really suits anything.Just have a look at this website and let me know what do you think about it.
    Kind regards


  14. kickpleat
    November 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Julie, I swear you are cooking everything I want to be eating right now! From the baguettes and brown butter to this soup. I love it all :)

  15. mike
    November 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Just made this recipe…the bitterness of the ale was do strong and unpleasant we just threw it away…we followed the recipe exactly and were disappointed on how we just threw away 15 dollars worth of food…not impressed

  16. pantofi De vanzare online
    October 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Ver? nice post. I definitely love t?is site. Stick with it!

    Al?? visit m? site: pantofi De vanzare online

  17. Denise Miller
    March 6, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    I’VE made this a few times now. I did two things to tweak it. I diced cremini mushrooms and saute them with the onions. After dishing the soup into bowls, I garnished with crumbled, crisp bacon and a bit of shredded cheddar.

    • Julie
      March 6, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Yum! And thanks for the reminder.. I need to make this again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.