Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roasted Apple Soup with Gouda, Bacon, and Candied Apples

I made this soup for an Oktoberfest party. Every German recipe seems to include a combination of apples, cheese, and bacon... not that I'm complaining.  Anyway, I was a bit concerned about the combination of flavors but decided to try it because the pictures looked so pretty, and I needed another course for the meal.  The soup turned out quite interesting - the cheese melded well with the apples, which gave the soup a tart and savory flavor without making it too sweet.  And it looks like autumn, in a bowl!
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
3 tbsp butter
3 sprigs thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cup cream
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Gouda cheese
2 cups chicken stock
6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and chopped (reserve for garnish)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Candy Apples:
1-2 large Granny Smith apples
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 450.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and set aside a large pot.  Melt the butter in a pan or the microwave.  Place the apples and onion on the baking sheet and drizzle with about half of the butter.  Pour the rest of the butter in the pot.  Roast the apples and onion until slightly brown, which should take 10-20 minutes.

Once the onions and apples are soft, remove from oven and add to pot.  Turn heat to medium and add sugar, apples, onion, and thyme.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, and then add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and using a food processor or immersion blender, puree the soup.

Next, add the cream and mix until the soup is smooth.  Add the cheeses and allow to melt into the soup.  Season to taste.  If soup is too thin, add a bit of flour; if it is too thick, add a bit more cream.  Serve with crumbled bacon and candy apple chips.

Candied apples:
You can either make these in advance, or throw them in the oven while the soup is cooking.  You may need more than one apple to make a perfectly pretty set!

Place sugar and water in a small pot and heat until sugar has melted.  Cook until a thin sugar syrup remains.  Slice the apple as thinly as possible, then dip each apple slice into the syrup and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake at 350 until golden brown.

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