Cheddar Soup with Granny Smith Apples
This rich, cold-weather soup gains a delicious contrast of crisp, bright flavor from Granny Smith apples, both in the soup base and as a garnish just before serving.
• 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp mustard powder
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 2 Granny Smith apples
• 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
• 10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Few dashes Tabasco sauce
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender and aromatic, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and mustard powder over the onion and stir to evenly coat. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the broth, stirring until well blended. Peel, quarter and core 1 of the Granny Smith apples and finely chop it. Add the apple to the soup, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the soup is thickened and the apple is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cider and grated cheese and cook a few minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the cheese is fully melted.
Using an immersion blender or regular blender, purée the soup until smooth. Stir in the Tabasco sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Quarter and core the remaining Granny Smith apple and cut it into 1/2-inch dice. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, scatter the apple over and serve right away.
Makes 4 to 6 servings