When Wisconsin's Leinenkugel introduced its first ale, which is auburn in color and mild in flavor, I was inspired to try a new soup with it—a mellow, slightly spicy pumpkin bisque. Though a traditional bisque soup is loaded with fattening cream and egg yolks to thicken the soup, I used potato starch, blended with half-and-half, to achieve a similar result with less fat and cholesterol. Potato starch is found in supermarkets in the kosher foods or the baking section.
Sauté the onion in the butter in a 2-quart saucepan placed over medium-low heat. The onion should be translucent and just golden. Stir in the barley malt syrup or honey, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
Let the onion simmer 1 minute with the seasonings, then add the pumpkin purée and chicken broth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 10—15 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Whisk the half-and-half and potato starch together until smooth, then whisk into the soup base. Simmer, stirring often, until smooth and thickened.
Stir in the ale and blend well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let the soup warm through completely, then serve with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.
Yield: 6 servings
Pairing: fruity amber ale
Cooking with Beer
Taste-Tempting Recipes and Creative
Ideas for Matching Beer & Food
by Lucy Saunders
Reprinted by Permission
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