Thursday, January 12, 2012

Apple and Cheese Soup

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!

When I was a young teenager, my family took a trip to Africa.  Please do not get the wrong impression of my family. Decently cultured and open minded? Yes. Jet-setters? Far from it. 97% of the vacations we took in my childhood were to Pennsylvania to visit my grandparents.

And yet, off we went to Africa.

Our two weeks in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia prompted my first foray into vegetarianism. I couldn't stand the idea of gazing upon gorgeous gazelles, zebras and giraffes during the day...and feasting on them at night. But not my Dad. He employed the "when in Rome" philosophy, and tried to appreciate everything that was put in front of him including, at one point, a giant worm. (Deep fried, but still!) If I recall correctly he remarked that it, "tasted like chicken".

I don't remember my reaction to these dinners particularly well, but I'd have to guess that I was incredibly polite, delicate and unopinionated.

Oh. No. That can't be right. More likely I made super classy gagging noises and mimed barfing.

This was not the first time I'd been like, WAY grossed-out by something my Dad willingly ingested. He has a favorite lunch (a concoction he's enjoyed since his own childhood) that to this day I simply can't stomach. Want to guess?

Nope, not ramen. Nor is it EZ-Mac. Hungry-man dinner? Sorry, wrong again! 

Ready? He fills a big cereal bowl with Cheez-its, and then mixes in a hearty serving of apple sauce and proceeds to eat the whole thing with a spoon. Sometimes there's peanut-butter involved.

He argues that I've never actually TRIED his infamous concoction, and that it may well be that my taste buds are simply not as sophisticated as his refined senses.

Perhaps, but my opinion remains unchanged.

Gag. Barf.

Apple & Cheese Soup
(Adapted from this recipe in Food Network Magazine)


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, Diced
  • 2 medium apples, peeled cored & diced
  • 1 large white potato, pealed & diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled butternut squash
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth (if the soup is too thick for your tastes, add more)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 3/4 cup grated extra-sharp reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated smoked or aged Gouda

  • Directions
    • Spread squash & potatoes on a cookie sheet, spray with olive oil & sprinkle with salt and pepper
    • Roast at 400F for 30 minutes
    • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat
    • Add the onion, apples, potato and squash
    • Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.
    • Stir in the sage and flour.
    • Add the cider and cook over high heat, stirring, until thickened.
    • Add the broth and milk, cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the potato & squash are completely soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
    • Add the cheese to the soup and stir over medium-low heat until melted.
    • Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper
    • Cozy up with your bowl of soup and feel justified in being JUST as sophisticated as the Doc.
    • Now help me brainstorm ways to apologize for this blog...


    1. The caraway seeds sound like a nice addition, but the cottage cheese is kind of weirding me out... and while the other ingredients only mildly offend your 10 commandments, I think the cottage cheese just steps way over the line. :)

    2. The caraway seeds were great, and please don't be alarmed by the cottage cheese! It really IS very good, it just isn't mac & cheese. Think of it as a savory kugel that got confused ;-)