The Hotel has recently changed hands, but is still being run as a family establishment, so the dinner this year was a little different than usual. Our starters were a delicious fruit and nut salad and an apple cheddar cheese soup. The was soup was the best part of the meal! I know apples and cheese have historically gone well together, but I would never have thought to put them in a soup together. I asked the waitress if I would be able to have a copy of the recipe (only after hearing another guest ask hahaha).
This past week I was able to make this soup. The recipe if from a book called The Chez Piggy Cookbook. by Rose Richardson
8 cups chicken stock
3 cups apple juice
4 garlic cloves - chopped
2 carrots - peeled and cut into chunks
1 celery stalk - cut into chunks
1 medium onion - cut into chunks
3 tart apples - unpeeled cut into chunks
1/2 red bell pepper - cut into chunks
1 tsp ground cardamom (i used half tsp cinnamon and a half tsp nutmeg as we could not find cardamom)
Coarse slat and ground pepper
3 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
5 cups 35% cream
5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup brandy (I did not use this)
Place stock and apple juice in pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add garlic carrots, celery, onion, apples and red pepper. Simmer until vegetables are soft, then add cardamom. Season with slat and pepper.
Blend into a puree and set aside.
In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes, stir in cream and whisk until mixture thickens.(cream will foam up so use a large pot) Add in cheese, stirring until melted. Flame brandy in a ladle and pour into cheese sauce. Mix thoroughly.
Bring pureed soup base to a boil, stir in cheese sauce. Immediately remove from heat. Garnish with parsley or croutons.
And you have it! A delicious soup that is thick enough to fill any stomach. My boyfriend, Colin, loves this soup and he does not like vegetables of any kind, so I think this soup will win over even the pickiest of eaters.