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Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup with Herbed Croutons

This rich and creamy Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup gets the seasonal treatment, and the homemade herbed croutons add a happy crunch to this satisfyingly easy meal!

Yields 6 bowls     adjust servings

Preparation 30m Cook Time 25m Total Time


    Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 shallots, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    • 12 oz. (1 bottle) beer (we used Sam Adams Octoberfest)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus more for serving
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    • Black pepper, to taste
    • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for serving

    Herbed Croutons

    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 loaf Italian bread, cubed (about 6 cups)
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


    Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup:

    Heat oil & butter in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. When melted and shimmering, cook shallots & garlic for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle flour over and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.

    Whisk in milk, broth, and beer in a stream. Add bay leaf. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Stir in pumpkin puree, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes, then carefully remove and discard the bay leaf.

    For smoother soup: remove saucepan from heat. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender,) puree contents of the pot until desired consistency is reached. Return to low heat.

    Add cheese about 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Portion into bowls and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar. Serve with croutons and fresh thyme.

    Herbed Croutons:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

    In a small saucepan, simmer the oil, sliced garlic, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic. 

    In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the oil mixture, coating as evenly as possible. Spread the cubes on the baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the croutons with the grated Parmesan, then bake for 8-9 more minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle the croutons with more salt if desired, then serve on top of the soup. 


    Recipe Notes

    Soup recipe heavily adapted from Epicurious.

    Crouton recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious.

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