Cheddar and Apple Soup
Chunks of tangy, crisp apples complement the smooth, mellow undertones of this satisfying cheddar cheese soup. It doesn't take long to make, so it could be the right thing to serve on a busy weekday evening.
- ¼ cup Challenge European Style Unsalted Butter (½ stick)
- 1½ cup chopped onion
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper (optional)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (10oz.)
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- Sprigs of fresh thyme
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onions and red pepper. Sauté until onions are soft and golden. Stir in flour and mustard; continue cooking for an additional minute or two. Stir in chicken broth, applesauce, sugar and thyme. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
Puree mixture in a blender or food processor and return to saucepan (or omit the puree step for a slightly less smooth soup.) Stir cheese into soup base and heat until cheese is fully melted. Add salt to taste.
Core (do not peel) the apple and cut into ½-inch pieces. Ladle soup into bowls and top with apple pieces then garnish with a sprig of thyme. Yields 8 cups.