Harvest Apple Cheddar Soup

Posted by Donna-Marie Pye on



  • 6 slices bacon, chopped*
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced and cleaned (or 1 medium onion chopped)
  • 2 Honeycrisp or tart apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can (473 mL) hard apple cider or beer* or 2 cups regular cider
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whipping/heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded aged white Cheddar cheese
  • Garnish: Toasted pumpkin seeds


  1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat cook bacon until crisp about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel lined plate. Remove all but 2 tbsp bacon fat.
  2. To the pot add sweet potato and leeks cook over medium high for 5 minutes. Add apples and cook 6 to 8 minutes longer until vegetables are softened and fragrant. Add garlic and thyme and cook 30 seconds.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly until flour is incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the stock and use the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Slowly pour in the cider/beer and add bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook 10 to 12 minutes. 
  5. Remove bay leaf and turn off heat.  Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in batches), puree soup until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in vinegar and cream; stir until smooth.
  6. Return heat to low and stir in cheese in three batches, stirring constantly until cheese is melted and smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Cooks Notes: 

Bacon: You can easily make this soup a vegetarian version by omitting the bacon and substituting 2 tbsp of butter or olive oil. (We even perfer a combination of both butter and oil)

Apples: When Honeycrisp apples are in season, they are my favourite ones to use. Other good options are Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji or Golden Delicious.

Cider: Apple cider adds a complex, sweet flavour and tart flavour. I prefer a hoppy hard cider such as Somersby, West Ave Cider Heritage Dry, Angry Orchard or Thornbury Village Craft. If using a beer, an IPA with refreshing bitter and hoppy notes work well.


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