Broccoli, Beer and Blue Cheese Soup

Kris: As you have seen from previous posts, we have a small but productive garden in our backyard. Our broccoli is ready, so I thought I would make some soup to eat with 2 hoppy Amber Ales that I grabbed from the bottle shop; the Baird Red Rose Amber Ale from Japan and the Red Duck Hoppy Amber from Victoria.

Broccoli, Beer and Blue Cheese Soup

1 fresh leek

2 Tbs olive oil

Fresh parsley

fresh thyme

500g broccoli

1 potato

1 litre beef stock

330ml American style brown ale

150 g Gorgonzola

100ml cream

salt and pepper


Fry off the sliced leek and some fresh thyme in the olive oil

Add a small amount of the beer and cook the leeks until translucent

Add diced potato and chopped broccoli and fry for 5-6 minutes

Add the remaining beer and stock

Bring to the boil and simmer for 25-30minutes

Let it cool a little and blitz using a blender

Put the soup back on a low heat and add the cream and blue cheese and stir until creamy and combined

Season with salt and pepper to taste

(Some blue cheese can be really salty so season to your own taste)

Serve with some fresh parsley and fresh bread

Kris:  Such an easy, tasty lunch on a mild winters day in Hobart. It is even better when the broccoli, thyme and parsley are all from your own garden.

Caroline: Such a hearty, sweet and salty lunch! Perfect with some crusty bread and a beer. A very warming meal for our freezing house..

Kris: I thought American style Amber Ales would be a perfect match to the Broccoli, Beer and Blue Cheese soup. The earthy, malty character compliments the vegetables and the big, hoppy flavours and aromas can stand up to the blue cheese. The Baird Red Rose Amber Ale is produced by an American brewer, who now resides in Japan. It is lighter bodied than most American Ambers, but was still a great match to the soup. The Red Duck Hoppy Amber, from Victoria, was the beer I used in the recipe, but it also worked fantastically as a match with our lunch. Bold, sweet malt and piney, resinous hop character, along with an ABV of 5.6%, this was the perfect beer to enjoy with a hearty bowl of our soup.

Caroline: Delicious lunch, thanks Kris

Pecan Pie and Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barley Wine

Caroline: It’s been so cold lately I’ve been really craving some Christmas time foods. I think the reversed seasons is still the weirdest thing about living far from home for me. It’s August and it feels like there should be Christmas music playing and eggnog in the grocery store….


I decided to make myself a pecan pie to soothe the homesickness.

Me and Kris recently got a great cookbook aptly called “The Great American Cookbook;” a revised edition of ‘How America Eats’ by Clementine Paddleford. Even the authors name screams Americana right?
It’s a great book that is divided up by states and their regional specialties.

Apparently Pecan Pie is a specialty from Georgia. Here is the recipe:

3 large eggs

2 tbs unsalted melted butter (I used salted, I like a bit of salty contrast in my sweets)

2 tbs all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup (I couldn’t find this in Tasmania but you can’t, use Golden syrup, which I did, or molasses in equal measure)

1/2 cup sugar (I did 1/4 c white sugar and 1/4 c brown sugar since golden syrup isn’t as dark a sweetener as I wanted)

8 inch pie crust (store bought or home made)

1 1/2 cups broken up pecans

Preheat oven to 220C or 425F

with electric blender beat eggs.

beat in melted butter, flour, salt, sugar, vanilla, and syrup. Set aside

(make you pie crust or whip out your store bought one)

dump all of the pecan pieces into the pie crust relatively evenly across the bottom

pour the mixture gently over the pecans (I thought this step was sort of weird at first but the pecans actually float up through the syrup to distribute themselves. GENIUS)

bake for 10 minutes

reduce heat to 165C or 325 F and bake for another 40 minutes

if you notice the top starting to brown too quickly you can cover it with foil

I also recommend placing pie tin on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper incase of any spillage

when done the center should be puffed and set but still a little wobbly

(I had to bake mine for an extra 15 minutes)

let cool so it firms up and enjoy! I had mine with a scoop of wattle seed and macadamia iceream.

Kris: What a treat! I’m a lucky man. As I have said it  before, I am not a huge dessert eater, but the pecan pie was hard to resist. I l also had a bottle of Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barley Wine in the cupboard that I bought back from the States to enjoy with my slice of pie. It is brewed in Pennsylvania. It’s 11.1% and has a big sweet malt profile with dried fruit and fig flavours and aroma. It complimented  the pecan pie perfectly and was a great treat on a chilly winters day.