Apple, Onion, and Cheddar Soup

Apple, Onion, and Cheddar SoupSoup to Nuts…or Nuts for Soup

OK, I admit it. I like soup. I am eating some right now, in fact. There is something about that first day when it actually feels like Fall, (My temperature gauge said it was 48º this morning.) that makes me want a cup of something warm and cozy. It also makes me think about what soup I will be making and freezing this weekend.

Canned soup is okay in a pinch, and there are some great ones available these days, but they don’t hold a candle to homemade. (Cheating by making chicken noodle with store bought broth still counts.) I have found myself grabbing for the frozen soup a lot lately. Especially after football practice or afternoon activity. (World Series anyone?) A little soup and grilled cheese, maybe a salad, and you have the makings of a quick and comforting meal.

I have been trying to branch out a bit with my recipes. I still have my favorites like the one I am eating now, but I can get bored of the same old, same old after a while. So I’ve been on a mission to find the new and interesting, and I think I found one!

I have owned a copy of the New England Soup Company Cookbook for years, but it’s one of those cookbooks that I tend to forget about. Last week I ran across it while looking for something else, and saw this recipe for Apple, Onion and Cheddar Soup. I knew I just had to try it. It’s perfect now that apples are coming into their season.

Apple, Onion, and Cheddar Soup
Adapted from Marjorie Druker
Chef/Co-Owner, New England Soup Factory

This soup is perfect during the cool fall months. It incorporates apples and cheese, which is an old-fashioned pairing for a pie in New England. The soup builds contrasting layers of sweetness, starting with the apple cider in the stock, then the caramelized onions, and finally the green apples add tartness.

Makes 12 servings.

3 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 large Spanish onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups apple cider
2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Calvados (or other apple brandy)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions. Keep stirring while you sauté the mixture for 25 minutes, or until the onions are soft and golden. Add the garlic and sliced apples, and continue to sauté an additional 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, apple cider, caraway seeds, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove. Add the cream, cheddar cheese, and Parmesan cheese, stirring until it is well combined, and the cheeses are completely melted. Add the apple brandy and season with salt and pepper.

Return to the stove and simmer an additional 3 minutes.

Serve with a garnish of shredded cheddar.

Adapted from The New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup.

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