Cheddar Beer Soup and the Return of Football

Football has returned! Now we just need the hockey season to begin and all will feel complete again. (And side note: Apparently they’ve been showing televised CFL games down here?! … No way! Go Stamps!)

Sunday’s opening Bears home game was Liam’s first, and we sure enjoyed dressing him in his little Bears jersey for the first time and watching the game together as a family. Liam is a pretty adorable little Bears fan, if I do say so myself.

To celebrate the return of football I decided to try my hand at making cheddar beer soup and homemade soda bread to eat for lunch during the game. I got the recipes from watching Claire Robinson’s Food Network show, 5 Ingredient Fix, the other day. Everything turned out really great; I followed the recipe for the soda bread exactly and formed two small rounded loaves from the dough instead of one larger loaf so that Lucas and I could make bread bowls for our soup. (This turned out to be a great idea, by the way.) The bread was the perfect density for a bread bowl and sopped up the flavor of the soup well.

For the cheddar beer soup we used Newcastle brown ale, whose nutty flavor blended nicely with the extra sharp cheddar cheese. I used whole grain flour instead of the all purpose white flour that the recipe called for in the thickening process, and I liked the whole grain texture that this produced. And speaking of the flour, we made sure our tablespoons were heaping, based on the recipe reviews that I read ahead of time. It seemed a lot of people took issue with the soup being too thin when made as written; heaping tablespoons gave us the perfect consistency, though.

One of my favorite parts of cooking together with Lucas is how we discuss the food we’ve made as we eat it, and talk about how the flavors turned out. For these recipes we talked about how different beers and/or cheeses in the soup would change the flavor and what combo we’d like to try next time. The recipe calls for 2 cups of cheese, and I think one thing we decided was that we’d want to add even more when we make it again. The soup was perfect in the bread bowls, and it’s definitely a fantastic football Sunday meal that we’ll make again and again, especially as we head into cooler weather.

Here we are, about mid September, and we haven’t begun packing yet. We close on the house on September 29, and we’re planning to make the move on October 5. This means we have just a few short weeks to get everything together! (Thankfully my mom is coming up to help watch Liam so I can get some packing done.) Then once we move, that gives us 5 days to get settled in the house before I return to work from maternity leave on October 10… nothing like cutting it close, huh? Speaking of returning to work, part of me is ready, but part of me is sad that these days cuddled with my tiny, precious little boy all day is coming to an end. He’s growing up so fast! I’ll also miss watching non-stop Food Network while nursing, too, but one perk to the move is that I’ll  be able to act on all of this foodie inspiration in my huge, brand new kitchen with my boys. The layout of the kitchen and living room is an open concept plan, which means we’ll be able to cook and interact with family and friends at the same time now; I’m so excited because this is without a doubt where we spend the most time. It won’t be long until Liam can help mama in the kitchen, too!

We’re going to be pretty busy the next few weeks but we’ll be sure to tell you all about it once we’re settled and back into the swing of things!