Creamy Apple Beer Cheese Soup has deep harvest undertones supplied by tart honey crisp apples and tangy apple cider.
APPLE BEER CHEESE SOUP WITH APPLE DUST BACON CRUMBLES
Savory sauteed onions keep this Fall season soup from becoming too sweet. Garnish your bowls of Apple Beer Cheese Soup With Apple Dust Bacon Crumbles for a festive holiday touch!
Fall is the time of year when we start thinking of hearty soups, stews and casseroles for our go-to dinner menus. One of my lifelong favorites is beer-cheese soup with some crusty French bread or maybe jalapeno cornbread sticks.
But when I tasted a version made with the addition of tart apples, I knew this soup had been kicked up a notch. So when the cool weather started creeping into the mountains of Western North Carolina last week, this was the soup I was craving.
Once I got to the grocery store, not only did I pick up a few oversized Honeycrisp apples, I snagged a carton of fresh apple cider too. As I walked the aisles, I envisioned cooking down sauteed onions and apples in the cider before adding chicken stock and a lovely lager to the pan.
APPLE BEER CHEESE SOUP – The Fixin’s
Because I wanted to serve my Apple Beer Cheese Soup for a festive seasonal meal before Thanksgiving, it needed to be garnished with something special.
That’s where I put my special APPLE DUST SUGAR to use once again. Ever since I created it last Fall for an Autumn Almond Apple Cake with Apple Dust Sugar, I keep a batch in my spice cupboard. I think you might just decide to do so too once you’ve tasted this versatile seasoning mix.
As you can see in the above image, I’ve also created several different CUSTOM HANG TAGS for gifting some Apple Dust Sugar for the holidays too. They’re available in the IFAFL Subscriber’s Resource Library for downloading at your convenience.
Now it’s time to make some Apple Beer Cheese Soup!
HOW TO MAKE APPLE BEER CHEESE SOUP
This soup is so simple and fast to make, it takes less than an hour from start to finish!
Talk about a lovely gourmet meal on a lazy Fall Sunday evening. Just add some crusty French bread and a bottle of crisp White Wine or Sparkling Cider, and you’ve got a fabulous dinner with very little effort.
- Saute chopped onions in olive oil, adding fresh thyme, salt and pepper to the pan;
- Add apple chunks and apple cider, cook down until almost all the cider has been evaporated;
- Mash apples to help them break down before adding remaining liquids and a pinch of hot pepper flakes;
- Cook soup down, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
If you’re looking for a soup that can be made ahead of time, my Apple Beer Cheese Soup fits the bill.
I like to make mine the day before I’m serving it and reheat it over a low flame before pouring it into a WHOLE ROASTED PUMPKIN for a little seasonal drama!
- Puree cooled soup in blender until smooth, or keep it a little chunky if desired;
- Pour soup back into pan and bring to a low simmer;
- Add shredded cheese in several batches, stirring to melt before next addition;
- Reduce stove temperature to low and cook, stirring occasionally until soup is hot;
- Serve, garnished with a sprinkle of Apple Dust Bacon Crumbles.
GARNISH YOUR APPLE BEER CHEESE SOUP WITH…
Candied Bacon topped with my special Apple Dust Sugar or “Apple Dust Bacon”! Being a former professional caterer has me always thinking about how to up my hostess game, and this is just one example!
Let’s see how you make this fabulous soup topping… I can think of a few more uses, can’t you?
- Lay out 6 ounces of thick-sliced bacon on a prepared grill pan (see recipe);
- Then sprinkle with Apple Dust Sugar ( see post for recipe: Autumn Almond Apple Cake with Apple Dust Sugar);
- Bake in a 425°F oven for specified time;
- Now, flip over slices of bacon and sprinkle with more Apple Dust Sugar;
- Finish baking on second side;
- Cool slices on prepared cooling rack;
- Dice bacon into crumbles and store in a tightly covered container in refrigerator until ready to use.
Would you like to know how to roast a whole pumpkin to use as a soup tureen? Well then, let’s continue…
HOW TO ROAST A WHOLE PUMPKIN FOR SERVING SOUP
Whole Roasted Pumpkins – Mother Nature’s Soup Tureens!
The best pumpkins for baking and cooking are sweet, flavorful, and have a smooth-textured flesh. Look for varieties known for their thick walls to keep your roasted pumpkin from caving in while cooking.
A few cultivars like Cinderella and Fairy Tale pumpkins have hard, thick skin but are known for their superior sweet flesh inside.
When shopping for pumpkins, look for the ones sold as “sugar” or “pie” pumpkins. When you are choosing a pumpkin specifically for roasting whole for a soup presentation, choose one between four and eight pounds.
Just like when buying a huge pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern, look for a gourd that’s got a nice shape and a flat bottom.
PUMPKIN CULTIVARS BEST SUITED FOR ROASTING WHOLE
Thanks to great gardening websites like the Gardener’s Path, you gardener’s can grow the perfect cultivars for all your cooking needs right at home. You can find the seeds for these gourds in any number of Vegetable Seed Catalogs or available right online.
Here’s a list of their favorite pumpkins for cooking:
- Cherokee Bush
- Cushaw Green-Striped
- Dill’s Atlantic
- Musquee de Provence
- Pepitas Hybrid
- Red Warty Thing
HOW TO ROAST A WHOLE PUMPKIN FOR SERVING SOUPS
STEPS FOR ROASTING A WHOLE PUMPKIN FOR SERVING SOUPS:
- Place rack near bottom of oven to make enough room for height of pumpkin;
- Preheat oven to 375°F;
- Cut a lid with a sharp knife, making it large enough to serve your soup with a ladle from inside;
- Then, clean and scrape out interior seeds and strings with the side of a spoon until it’s clean;
- Brush top of lid and exterior of pumpkin with canola or olive oil;
- Place on an oiled rimmed baking sheet and cover open top of pumpkin with foil, molding it tightly to exterior;
- Now, place pan in oven and roast for 30 minutes;
- Remove foil and cook for 20-25 minutes more until top starts to brown and retract;
- Cool for 5 minutes on baking pan;
- Carefully remove with long spatulas to your serving platter (if it looks too fragile, just serve it right on the baking sheet)
I certainly hope you’re going to pick up some apples and cider this weekend and make a delicious batch of Apple Beer Cheese Soup – And don’t forget the Apple Dust Bacon Garnish!
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APPLE DUST SUGARED BACON CRUMBLES
6 oz. thick sliced bacon slices
Apple Dust Sugar (see related post for recipe)
APPLE BEER CHEESE SOUP
2 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup sweet onion, diced
2 tsp. fresh thyme
Kosher salt & Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups apples, peeled and cored (sweet/tart variety like honey crisp)
3/4 cup apple cider
12 oz. can of beer, stout or pale ale (seasonal varieties make a lovely addition)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup AP flour
1 cup whole milk or half & half
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
APPLE DUST SUGAR BACON CRUMBLES
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line broiler pan with aluminum foil and spray grill rack with vegetable spray. Spray wire cooling rack with vegetable spray to cool bacon. Lay bacon slices on grill pan. Sprinkle with a thick layer of APPLE DUST SUGAR.
- Place broiler pan in oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until bacon is caramelized and crispy, but not scorched.
- Remove from oven, flip over, sprinkle with more apple dust sugar and return to oven. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until caramelized, but not crisp.
- Take slices from pan and cool on prepared wire rack.
- After cool, dice with a knife. Place bacon crumbles in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator until 20 minutes before serving soup. Let bacon come to room temperature before garnishing soup.
APPLE BEER CHEESE SOUP
- Add olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. When pan is hot, onion, fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and just begin to caramelize.
- Add cider and apples, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes. Once apples begin to soften, mash with a fork or vegetable masher to help break down the apple pieces. Mixture is done when most of the cider has cooked away, but pan is not dry.
- Add beer, broth and red pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until apples are tender and falling apart.
- While soup is cooking, whisk flour into the milk until smooth. Set aside until needed.
- Remove soup from heat, let cool for 5 minutes. Puree soup in blender or food processor in 2 batches until smooth. If you like it a bit chunky, give it a bit less processing.
- Return soup to pot and bring to a slow simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in milk/flour mixture and simmer until the soup begins to thicken, about 5 minutes for so.
- In batches, stir in shredded cheese until melted into soup. Stir until completely smooth and cook a few more minutes until thick and heated though.
- Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with Apple Dust Sugar Bacon Crumbles before serving.
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 630Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 95mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 5gSugar 18gProtein 26g
Calorie and nutritional info is subject to ingredient usage and portions.