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Friday, March 2, 2012

50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #37 Severine von Tscharner Fleming - Beer Cheese Soup w/ Sausage

the "Gourmet" prompt...
37. Severine von Tscharner Fleming- Founder and director of the Greenhorns, the fabulous von TF’s mission is to recruit, promote, and support young farmers. The upshot: Nonindustrial farming is fun and it’s hip; it’s an explosive movement. And this is indubitably a good thing.

Severine attended Pomona College and UCBerkeley where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/AgroEcology.  She co-founded Pomona Organic Farm and founded UCBerkeley's Society for Agriculture and Food Ecology.  She is also the co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition.  She is currently based in the Hudson Valley, New York and has produced and directed a documentary film about "young farmers who are reclaiming, restoring, retrofitting, and respecting this country of ours" entitled The Greenhorns.  The Greenhorns mission is to recruit, promote, and support the growing group of new agrarians.  While growing organic fruit, herbs, vegetables, pigs, rabbits, goats, and laying hens on others property, she hopes to save up money to buy her own farm one day.*
Now.  Severine doesn't really have any recipes floating around, but she is featured in the "Kitchen Table Talks" section of the book Farmstead Chef by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko.  There's a link to one of the recipes from this book on the Greenhorns blog...which got me to looking around at some more of the recipes they had listed.  I came across a beer cheese soup that sounded intriguing.  I haven't made any sort of cheese soup in years...and I figured that with some tweaking, I could make this my own, yet still stay in line with something that would be von Tscharner Fleming approved.

Using locally brewed beer and locally made Dyngus-style (it's that time of year) sausage along with homemade chicken stock and organic veggies and serving it in a boule of homemade bread, I think I accomplished my mission.  I found the amount of flour used in the original recipe (2 cups!) to be excessive, so I cut it down by half and gave an option for thickening.  The result is a rich, comforting, stick-to-your bones pot of soup reminiscent of fondue.  And I'm awful fond of fondue. That's why I think it was a bonus to serve it in a bread bowl

Beer Cheese Soup w/ Sausage

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Keywords: simmer soup/stew beer cheese sausage American
Ingredients (serves 12)
  • ~1 lb. Dyngus-Style Sausage (or other)
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (~1 c.)
  • 3 fat cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ c. nibble-size broccoli florets
  • 1½ c. julienned carrots
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • 12 oz. Four Horsemen Irish Red Ale (or any variety of beer you like)
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 c. whole milk
  • 1 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. fennel seed
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. (~4 c.) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Cook sausage in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Once it is nicely browned and fully cooked, remove to a small dish leaving as much fat behind as possible. You should have built up some nice fond on the bottom of the pot - leave it there, that's going to add a lot of flavor to the soup. If you have much more than a tablespoon or so of grease left, decrease your butter by that much when adding it.

Add butter to pot and once it begins to bubble, add onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Add broccoli and carrots and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the flour and let it cook out for at least a minute so that it loses the floury flavor. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in beer, Worcestershire sauce, and milk. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ~10 minutes.  
Add maple syrup, mustard, fennel, and reserved sausage. Add ~2 tsp. of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Cook for another five minutes or so, and then slowly add sprinkle the cheese in a little at a time, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted and the soup begins to bubble.

Adjust consistency with a bit of milk or water if it seems too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

This soup reminds me of's perfect for dipping some good substantial bread in (or even better, serve it in small bread bowls).

I sautéed a little extra broccoli and carrots just to add as a garnish when serving. Grate on some more pepper and sprinkle with a few crushed red chiles when serving for a pleasant hint of heat.

If by chance this soup is too thin for your liking, make a roux by using equal parts butter and flour. Melt butter and stir in flour with a wooden spoon. Allow the roux to cook down for at least five minutes or so. It should look like wet sand. Whisk in small bits at a time and allow to boil (since this is when it really thickens). Add more if needed. Cooled roux can be stored in a container with a lid in the fridge for a week or so if you have some left.
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In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?
*source: The Greenhorns

I am sharing this post with:
Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine & Dish sponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset
Souper_Sundays2 SundayNightSoupNight foodfriday Foodie Friday Logo 2 friday food at mom trends

Would you like to comment?

  1. This looks AMAZING! Totally....totally...decadent :) Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

  2. I just tweeted this soup as one of my favorites from Sunday Night Soup Night! Thanks for linking up and hope to see you again soon :)

  3. those foods look very delish, makes me drool :-) Visiting late from Food Friday, hope that you can return the visit too. 

  4. Cheese, beer and sausage = instant love for me! :) Love how you used organic and locally sourced ingredients for this dish, so befitting of Severine's profile. Great notes on the recipe too!

  5. What a fun recipe, Heather! Super presentation too.