Potato Cheddar Guinness Soup

Sharp cheddar cheeses vary with intensity of flavor. For this recipe we assume a standard grocery store label extra sharp cheddar.

If you are using a specialty sharp cheddar (some of the Irish cheddars are lovely), you may be able to accomplish the same amount of flavor with less cheese than is called for in this recipe.

Some people are much more sensitive to bitter flavors than others. It’s genetic. So if that’s you, I would use only a quarter of a cup or skip the beer entirely, and just add more stock.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 celery rib, chopped or sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock (add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt if using unsalted stock)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Guinness extra stout (do not use draught)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 6 ounces (170 g) grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • Chopped chives for garnish


1 Sauté onions and celery: Melt butter on medium  heat in a large, thick-bottomed pot. Add the onions and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and cook 5 minutes more.

2 Add the sliced potatoes to the pot. Add the chicken stock, Guinness extra stout, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easily fall apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3 Purée the soup, adding grated cheddar: When the potatoes are tender, remove the pot from the heat.  Pour potato mixture into a bowl and let cool for a few minutes.

Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender, filling the blender bowl only a third full at a time.

Add a portion of the grated cheddar to the blender bowl as well. (If it takes 3 batches to purée the soup, divide the cheese into 3 portions.)

Holding the lid of the blender down (to keep the hot liquid from erupting out of the blender), pulse until smooth. Return the smooth purée to the soup pot.

4 Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and paprika. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. If the soup is too sour or bitter to your taste, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the soup.

Garnish with chopped chives.

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  • Dorothy Schwemmer

    Is there any substitute for the Guinness? I can’t cook with any alcohol

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Dorothy! I would swap the Guinness for beef broth. You could also use another cup of chicken broth, but the soup will be lighter in flavor.

  • Trevor Clapp

    My husband made this tonight. It was excellent! We served with hot pretzel buns. It was so great, I had to ladel some up for the neighbor.

    • Elise Bauer

      Great, I’m so glad you liked it Trevor! Love the idea of serving with pretzel buns.

  • Cortney

    So yummy!! My husband and I really enjoyed this, will definitely be making it again.

  • Leela

    I highly recommend an immersion blender. They’re not too expensive and make that last step much easier.

  • Sam

    I used a full can of Rickard’s Red (trying to duplicate the recipe from Jack Astor’s) and some parmesan cheese… Perfect!

  • Melissa

    Just made this over the weekend and it was delish. Definitely a keeper.

  • Lynn

    This is by far the best recipe for a “beer cheese” soup I’ve ever tried. I’ve made it multiple times and it’s always better than I remember. I really do recommend using an immersion blender instead of trying to ladle hot soup into a stand blender – takes 2 minutes to blend in the pot with no muss, no fuss.


  • joanne tullis

    Boy, did I do something wrong! Made this for beer loving Lutherans at a Lenten Wednesday soup supper, and brought most of it home! They did not like it. Neither did I! I feel it had too much thyme, perhaps.

  • Shinee

    I just made this soup for dinner tonight. And it was delicious! Thank you!

  • R Hanson

    Why not use draught Guinnessis?
    It was all I could find at the store.

    • Elise Bauer

      If you do a taste test between draught Guinness and Guinness extra stout, you’ll see a huge difference. The draught just tastes like a standard dark beer. The extra stout is more deeply rich and flavorful. If draught is all you can find, I would make sure to get a very good Irish cheddar cheese (not the store brand), like Kerrygold or Dubliner.

  • Mary Morris

    The soup would be lovely with your broccoli salad and some crusty French bread. A must try!

  • Devora

    Made the soup this evening. I cooked the soup in a deeper pot than specified, then used an immersion blender instead of a regular one. The texture came out wonderfully, and this saved the extra steps (and dishes) of transferring batches of soup into a regular blender.

  • Dan Rosencrance

    Regarding the blender step(s), we purchased a stick blender years ago to facilitate pureeing my wife’s wonderful butternut squash soup. No more handling hot liquids, just perform the blending in the vessel. We wouldn’t be without one and have gifted one to each of our daughters. They love theirs too.

  • Caryn

    Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easily fall apart…. Do you mean bring to a boil then lower the heat???

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Caryn, You don’t have to bring it all the way to a rolling boil, a simmer will do. But if you partially cover it without lowering the heat, you will increase the pressure inside the pot and cause the soup to boil. So, bring the soup to a simmer first, then partially cover it, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Of course, if you want to bring the soup to a full boil, and then reduce the heat, that will work too.

  • randi

    I’m guessing this would taste a bit like Welsh Rarebit. Yummy!

  • Clelia Clark

    I was lucky enough to have this for dinner last night…it literally tastes like delicious gravy. But better. A must try!

  • Candy C.

    This looks lovely and I really, really like your bowl! I have cooked with Guinness before, Garrett McCord’s Chocolate Guinness cake is one of my favorites. :)

  • Jim

    Why not skip the cumbersome soup transference to a blender (not to mention getting burned/spillage etc.) and just use an immersion blender?? Other than that – this looks delicious!

    • Emily

      I was wondering the same thing.

  • Lisa @ Simple Pairings

    Wow, this looks incredible! I’m a huge fan of Guinness, so I’m sure I would love this soup. I actually made a cheddar beer dip not too long ago that really reminds me of this soup, maybe you would like to check it out at http://simplepairings.com/2014/01/08/oat-soda-bread-with-cheddar-beer-dip/. It seems like the perfect segway to trying your soup – will let you know how it turns out! :)

    • Rebecca

      Your bread and dip look fantastic! I have buttermilk to use up, and that looks perfect. If I make this soup, I’ll have extra Guinness to use up! I can’t wait to make it all! Thanks for the link!

      • Lisa @ Simple Pairings

        Hope you enjoy it, Rebecca! It’s one of my favorite dishes to share when people come to visit or when I visit others. :)

  • Gregory

    This looks amazing. I don’t think the gluten-free tag is accurate, though; while Guinness is wheat-free the malted barley probably contains gluten (or close analogues) and isn’t likely to be safe for folks who are sensitive to such things.

    • Elise Bauer

      Good point! I’ve removed the gluten-free tag. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmmm so yummy!! Love this soup!