I would HIGHLY recommend getting the Food Network Magazine! It is always full of yummy, new recipes with tons of pictures and great ideas. So, we got our issue in the mail, “The Cheese Issue” and immediately found a few recipes to try. This soup recipe definitely looked different, but we thought it would be fun to try! I will warn you… I made it as the recipe said to, and have made some changes in the recipe below. I changed the 2 apples to 1 and 1 potato to 2, and I also cut down the liquid a little bit to thicken things up.
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
3 slices rye bread, toasted
Chopped fresh scallions, for topping
Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain; let cool slightly, then roughly chop or crumble. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pot. (I didn’t have any excess to pour out.)
Increase the heat under the pot to medium high. Add the onion, apple and potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, apple juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potato is soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the cheddar until melted. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree. I used an immersion blender which is super easy, and you can get one for not too much. Return to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Spread the bread with the reserved 2 tablespoons cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, about 30 seconds, then cut into 1-inch squares. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the bacon, scallions, cheese croutons and more pepper.
HUSBAND RATING: “Hmm, different. (Pause) Yeah, good different. I like it… I forgot I liked rye bread too.” As mentioned above, we thought it would be better with more potato and less apple. I would definitely think of this recipe in the fall when we are bursting at the seams with apples!