Shiner Bock* beer is a virtual institution in Texas. When you see a person with their hand wrapped around one of those dark brown bottles with the yellow-gold label, you know you’re dealing with a serious beer-drinkin’ cowboy… or cowgirl. It’s a hearty, European-style bock beer produced by the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, pretty much the same way it’s been made for a hundred or so years. We love it for those steamy days in Hill Country summers. In the winter time when the wind blows around those hills, chilling a body to the bone, we love Shiner Bock paired with our German Stone Ground Mustard in this hearty and warming soup. Now, if you don’t live in Texas, you can substitute another European-style bock beer, but if you use one of those limp, “lite” beers in this soup, you’ll just ruin it!
*Shiner Bock is a trademark of Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas.
¼ cup canola oil
4 cups ½-inch French bread cubes
To make the soup, heat the canola oil in a heavy, 6-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and diced potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are wilted and transparent, about 8 minutes. Add the jalapeno chilies, German Stone Ground Mustard, beer and chicken stock. Stir to blend well, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are very soft and have started to break apart. Puree the soup in batches in blender or food processor until completely smooth. Return soup to clean pot over medium heat and stir in the cheese. Cook just until cheese has melted. Add salt to taste. Do not allow the soup to boil once the cheese has been added. Stir in the whipping cream and cook just to heat the cream through. Serve hot, garnished with Garlic Croutons.
To make the Garlic Croutons, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the French bread cubes in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together the melted butter, salt, and granulated garlic. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes, then toss rapidly to coat all bread cubes. Turn the buttered bread cubes out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until cubes are lightly brown and very crisp. Turn out onto wire rack and cool completely before using. To store the croutons, place them in a storage container with tight-fitting lid for up to three days.