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Curried Apple and Sweet Potato Soup

1/4 cup raisins
12 ounces light pilsner beer
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 apples, unpeeled cored and diced
1 tablespoon curry
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon tamari/shoyu soy sauce
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and finely diced
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

Soak the raisins in the beer for at least 2 hours before beginning.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté  3 minutes. Add diced apples and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with curry powder.

Cook 8 minutes on medium low. Stir in the ginger and cook 2 more minutes.

Drain the raisins (save the beer) Sprinkle the flour over the apple mixture and cook over low heat 1 minute. Gradually add the beer, stirring to smooth any lumps, and cook  5 to 7 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a food processor. Add the raisins and blend until smooth.

In a heavy stock pot, combine the stock, apple juice concentrate, cinnamon stick, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, add the sweet potatoes, and turn down the heat. Simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick from the hot stock and stir in the apple puree. Season with salt and white pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Your soup is ready


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