Our unexpected recipe makeover harnesses the power of comfort food in a nutrient-dense, slurp-worthy bowl of beer cheese bliss. Butternut squash complements the rich, savory notes of beer and two types of mustard, while ribbons of melty cheddar add a silky finish. All of these components fuse together to create a hearty yet delightfully dulcet soup guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out. A pale ale–style beer, such as Bass, is ideal in this dish. Avoid using dark beer, which could make the soup too bitter. Nutritional yeast is commonly sold powdered or in flakes. Find it in most health food stores and well-stocked markets.
1 (2-lb.) butternut squash
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup chopped white onion
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 (12-oz.) bottle pale ale-style beer
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice butternut squash in half lengthwise. Coat each cut side with cooking spray. Place squash halves, cut side down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 45 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Scoop out 2 1/2 cups flesh. Set aside.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add onion and carrots; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, nutritional yeast, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add beer; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in squash, stock, and milk.
Pour mixture into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth. Pour mixture back into Dutch oven.
Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl; mix well. Whisk cornstarch mixture into soup; cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until soup begins to thicken. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Ladle soup evenly into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds.
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