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hot-holding soups

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
It's really going to be a specific recipe post, but I didn't post it in recipes because I need it to hold at a high temp for a long period of time (say, 4-5 hours), which I think is more of a "professional" question than not.

I've never appreciated this particular soup and I usually just kinda chuckle to myself whenever someone proclaims that the are going to make "the best beer & cheese soup that you've ever had!". It is great for about 30 minutes then it breaks... can't serve it. $$$ down the drain.

I've never been able to pull off a cheese soup that will hold on line; kinda gave up years ago.

So, I'm humbly asking for a recipe, or really, just a method, for a cheese based soup that won't break after a few hours being held hot.
If it helps at all, the soup gets made and half of it gets held hot while the other half gets cooled and then re-heated later. Two 4-inch half pans all told.

I'm sure someone here has a fool-proof method.
Also, I did scour the search engine and found nothing that compared to this particular question, so...
TIA
post #2 of 23
How are you doing it now?
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's part of the problem: I'm NOT doing it. There is a designated soup person who makes the soup de jour. I'm his supervisor, and it would be easier for me to simply give him suggestions rather that dictate a specific recipe. There are ego's to be dealt with and 'suggestion' is the preferred method in the institute in which I am employed.

I believe the method right now is:
bacon and onion
add flour
add cream/chx stock
add beer
simmer
add shredded cheddar/jack

...and honestly, that is how I would think to make it, but I wouldn't expect it to hold.
The GM asked me to check google and peers.
Her thought was to make a white sauce, cheese and dilute it with beer and other liquids. Sounds like it would work too.
I'm just looking for an honest recipe. Not trying to get out of doing the leg work, (I could get payed to toy around with it forever), just don't want to throw away more cheese. stuff's expensive.
..and sure, there are lots of recipes online, just none from people whose opinion I respect (that means YOU, cheftalk poster; don't let it go to your head:)).
post #4 of 23
Well you know you can just buy cream soup base. (there goes the respect)
post #5 of 23
If from this you mean you add your cheese as its simmering then your problem is that you're adding it too hot.

Fix is simple: Add the (very finely grated) cheese as its cooling and stir as little as possible (unless you want it stringy). And add an acid (acids help seperate the proteins, and prevents them from forming lumps).

Suggested recipe:

Fry bacon/onion
Add flour
Add stock
Simmer. Turn off heat.
Add beer.
Add a touch of lemon or wine.
Add cheese.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well now you're just poking at me :)
as a retired chef, Kuan, surely you have an answer...
or at least an opinion on cheese based soups.
Help a noob. We'll appreciate it!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
appreciate the help.
will this recipe HOLD?
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
truth be told, I absolutely HATE cheese soups and want nothing to do with them and I think that beer/cheese soups are pretentious and horrible, but I was sent on a quest, and I have to follow through on it.
Main question being asked: How do you hold a cheese soup w/o it breaking?
Impossible?
That's what I thought.
Please, though, prove it wrong.
post #9 of 23
I'm almost certain- apart from the beer and stock (and bacon)- this is basic fondu (certainly not impossible!).

If you don't want to gamble money on my words. Try it in a small batch, if it doesn't work; let me know- I'll try and figure out why.
post #10 of 23
Why in Gods green earth would you put lemon in a beer and cheese soup? That's likely the culprit.
You also need to watch the temperature as it sets.
There is no reason you can't hold a cheese soup with out it breaking.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #11 of 23
Same reason why you would put lemon (or wine) in a fondue:

It keeps the proteins apart, and prevents them from binding into clots.
post #12 of 23
lol, beer and cheese soup is yummy good ,especially if you have a little potato in there.

I also suspect that Chris is correct in his deduction that you are adding the cheese while it is still too hot. Just like homemade mac'n cheese, if your base cream sauce is too hot the oil will run right out of the cheese leaving you a gloopy mess. Sure you can stir up a storm and get it to emulsify a bit but you are really just kidding yerself.

I would use Chris's recipe but without the flour (my wife is gluten intolerant and have found that with peeled and finely shredded potato it makes a nice thickener without that glazed cornstarch look, not that i haven't used cornstarch in a pinch) Also no soup looks that great after a 4 hour hold, while clam chowder tastes better it doesn't look as nice.
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #13 of 23
A fondue is prepared to order and not being held or at least one would hope that is the case. A fondue also considerably thicker. Clotting should not be an issue in a soup. Assuming the OP was using milk as a base and not heavy cream then seperating proteins may have been killing the soup.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #14 of 23
You'll have to forgive me if this isn't possible, I've never had or made a beer and cheese soup.


Are you keeping a large batch of soup hot then portioning and flashing to order? Or are you bringing a portion of soup up to temperature for every order?

If your bringing a portion of soup up to temperature, could you not add the cheese to order?
post #15 of 23
I have tried the Le Gout brand base and must sayit is not bad however what happens is the oil and fat in the cheese seperates at two extreme a temp. To hot on any soup will cause seperation.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #16 of 23
Let's not forget HACCP in the conversation. You should only hot-hold for two hours max (UK law); it's better to heat a batch every hour or so instead of heating a hugh quantity and holding for an entire service.
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #17 of 23
I'll get crucified for this, but I use cheese sauce and add more cheese to it. I make a roux, add some cream, then the beer and cheese sauce and more grated cheese with a little garlic and white pepper, salt to taste and a small dash of cayenne. People love it and it never breaks.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
okies.
thanks a lot, folks.

I'll have them try some of the suggestions. If all fails, I'm definitely not opposed to sneaking in a can of cheese sauce and doctoring it up, and I certainly wouldn't crucify someone for suggesting it. :) I worked for a chef who made his clam chowder with non-dairy creamer. People loved it. Of course, this was at a processing camp in AK. heh

Anyhow, in a perfect world I would personally make each bowl of soup to order, but the truth is that we can only re-heat soup two or three times a day. If there were any other option, believe me, I would opt for that; it's just another restriction that we have to work with. Small kitchen: big dining room: busy place.
And Pembroke, that rule is news to me. I don't even remember the CDC saying anything about that...? Bringing food up to temp and then NOT hot holding, yes, there is a time line, but only being able to hold hot food hot for a designated time period is new to me (unless said food is on a buffet line)...
post #19 of 23
THe hot holding times are designed to address buffet style service but obviously apply to all hot-holding; plenty of buffets serve soup....In the UK the same two hour rule applies to ambient buffets after which time left overs have to be discarded.
Merry Christmas!
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #20 of 23
You should call Tate & Lyle and ask about using a modified food starch. They have plenty of starches you can use. You might have to ask for a small sample and then order 50# at a time.
post #21 of 23
Why?
As far as I know there are no health code restrictions for hot holding times here. If a hot item like soup is over 140 degrees it is in the safe zone. By those standards we would have to pull numerous sauces several times a day and pitch them. IMO that's way over the top. In fact I not only hold some for several hours we cool properly and use another day. If it's outside of the HACCP temps then two hours is about it but that's another story. Who tosses out demi, soup, beurre rouge etc. every two hours?
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Maybe Pembroke (UK) works under different regulations than we do in the States.
The 'buffet hot holding regulations' are different then the 'food service hot holding regulations' where I live.
Also, we can re-heat an item and then NOT 'hot hold', as long as the remainder is thrown away after X amount of time.
I looked at the online food handler's manual for my county but couldn't find exact answers, but I did find this gem...

Jewelry
Jewelry can hide germs that cause foodborne illness and make it hard to wash
hands. Jewelry can also fall into food. While preparing food, food workers must
remove watches, rings, bracelets, and all other jewelry on the arms or hands.
Exception: Wedding rings may be worn if they are covered with a glove when
the food worker is preparing food.


See, married people have magic anti-germ powers.
Double standard much?
Anyhow, I digest... :P

PS Merry Christmas to you all too!
post #23 of 23
"Maybe Pembroke (UK) works under different regulations than we do in the States"


I'm sure that's true I was just hoping to understand why. If food is in the HACCP zone then it is safe and there should be no need to throw it out. If I prepare several prime ribs for dinner service do I toss them after two hours? That just doesn't make any sense to me. If you have to toss hot food every two hours why even bother worrying about HACCP?
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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