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Thursday, October 3

Cheddar & hard cider soup with fried shallots

Flour, all purpose
2 tablespoons +
2 tablespoons
Salt
½ teaspoon +
Pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon +
Shallots, sliced
2
Canola oil
½ cup
Butter, unsalted
4 tablespoons
Onions, yellow, peeled, chopped
2
Celery, chopped
1 rib
Potato, Yukon gold,
peeled, chopped
1
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
Chicken broth
2 ½ cups
Hard apple cider
2 ½ cups
Half-and-half
1 cup
Bay leaves
2
Thyme
4 sprigs
Applejack or Calvados brandy
2 tablespoons
Cheddar, white, shredded
¾ pound
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Add the shallots, and toss to coat. 
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until very hot. 
  4. Shake off any excess flour, and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. 
  5. Drain on paper towel, and season with salt. 
  6. In a Dutch oven, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. 
  7. Stir in the onions, celery, potato, and garlic. 
  8. Reduce to low, cover, and cook , stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 12 minutes. 
  9. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is incorporated. 
  10. While stirring constantly, gradually add the broth, cider, and half-and-half. 
  11. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the bay leaves and thyme, and bring to a boil. 
  12. Reduce to low, and simmer to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes. 
  13. Remove the bay leaves and thyme twigs from the soup; discard. 
  14. Remove the soup from the heat, and let cool slightly. 
  15. Working in batches, purée in a blender; pour into a clean pot. 
  16. Stir in the applejack. 
  17. While off heat, gradually whisk in the cheese a handful at a time; continue whisking until all the cheese is melted. 
  18. Place over medium-low heat, stir in 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, and cook gently, stirring often, until heated through, about 10 minutes. 
  19. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed; serve with fried shallots. 
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day by Kate McMillan.

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