Cheddar Parsnip and Apple Soup

Do any of you find yourself enjoying cheese more than you do the company of most other humans? Me too.

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I’m a total cheese slut, anything but the very strong blue variety I am 100% down for. Every other Monday I drag my mum out for a little exercise in a walk to IJ Mellis, the cheese shop near the building we work in, and we stock up on whatever cheesy goodies take our fancy. It’s the best kind of Monday motivation.

My affinity for fermented dairy is reinforced by the fact I live in a country that produces some of the world’s best cheese. Cheddar, Wensleydale, Stilton, Crowdie. The UK has some mad cheese game. With this in mind, it only felt right that this little blog’s third savoury meal recipe should revolve around cheese, and be a departure from my usual Italian-inspired recipes such as my Skinny Turkey Meatballs or Pizza Pasta.

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The recipe in question? A creamy, cheesy and surprisingly healthy dish that also happens to be Autumnal AF. Perfect for the suddenly chilly new weather we’re facing. A cosy bowl of Cheddar Parsnip and Apple Soup, full of fresh vegetables about to hit their seasonal peak and of course CHEESE.

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This amount of soup should feed 4-6 people depending on your portion sizes, and it makes a great lunch or lighter dinner when paired with some good old crusty white bread, or if you’re feeling fancy, some rosemary topped focaccia is a great choice too! I know cheese might sound like a strange addition to soup, but bear with me, we’ve all heard of broccoli and stilton soup, and this is a similar idea, only much less green and weird-looking.

The whole meal takes less than 30 minutes to cook up and is also very cheap to feed a family with. So really, it’s a winner all round. If you like parsnips of course. If for whatever reason you’re not a parsnip-kinda-person, feel free to replace them with regular potatoes, it will still produce a delicious, filling and healthy soup!

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The cheddar can be swapped out too of course, if you happen to have a hankering for another kind of cheese. Wensleydale, Double Gloucester, Parmesan or any kind of mild blue cheese would likely be a great alternative in this soup, just anything that adds a savoury creaminess to the pot really!

To make this lovely warming Cheddar Parsnip and Apple Soup, you’ll need to start by placing a large sauce/soup pan over a low heat.

Peel and dice a large or medium onion. (To do this, slice the onion in half and keep the root on. Use your knife to slice parallel lines across the onion towards the root, then turn the onion 90 degrees to the right or left and slice it across the way, making small cubes.)

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Peel and finely mince 2 garlic cloves. (To do this, simply anchor the point of your knife to your chopping board with the garlic underneath the middle section of the blade, and just chop repeatedly while moving the knife left and right, keeping your hand above the blade at all times and the tip anchored to the board. This should produce tiny chunks of garlic.)

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Add 1 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil, or butter to the warm pan and add your diced onions. Cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened.

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Meanwhile, peel and chop 400g of parsnips and 2 regular eating apples into small chunks in whichever manner you like.

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Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for a further minute.

Add the parsnips and apples to the pan along with some vegetable/chicken stock and dried herbs. Bring the pan to a steady bubble.

Allow the vegetables to simmer in the pan fairly gently with a lid on for 20-25 minutes until completely soft.

Once cooked, add milk, salt and pepper and use a hand/immersion blender or a regular food processor to blend the soup into a smooth consistency. You may need to add more milk to reach your desired consistency, some like it thicker than others!

Once smooth, leave the pan on the heat while you grate up a whole lot of cheese.

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Add the cheese to the pan and allow it to melt into the hot soup for 2 minutes or so. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, pepper or cheese to meet your liking!

Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkling over some extra grated cheese or black pepper, and serve with your favourite bread.

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This soup has been a big hit with my family, we usually have it every other week. The cheese really helps to ramp up the flavour, and masks the fact you’re actually eating a whole big bowl of fruit and vegetables! It’s a great way of sneaking a meat-free meal into my carnivorous family too!

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I really hope you’ll try this soup, it’s perfect for this chilly season.

What’s your favourite soup?

Cheddar, Parsnip and Apple Soup

Yield: 4-6 bowls

Cheddar, Parsnip and Apple Soup

Creamy, cheesy and surprisingly healthy, this Cheddar, Parsnip and Apple Soup is a perfect cheap meal on a chilly night.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium or large onion,
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400g parsnips
  • 2 eating apples (such as Jazz, Gala or Pink Lady)
  • 750ml vegetable or chicken stock (made up with 1-2 stock cubes, depending on how salty you like it)
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 250ml milk (or more if necessary)
  • 130g cheddar cheese, plus more for topping each bowl
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place a large sauce/soup pan over a low heat.
  2. Peel and dice the onion. (To do this, slice the onion in half and keep the root on. Use your knife to slice parallel lines across the onion towards the root, then turn the onion 90 degrees to the right or left and slice it across the way, making small cubes.)
  3. Peel and finely mince garlic cloves. (To do this, simply anchor the point of your knife to your chopping board with the garlic underneath the middle section of the blade, and just chop repeatedly while moving the knife left and right, keeping your hand above the blade at all times and the tip anchored to the board. This should produce tiny chunks of garlic.)
  4. Add 1 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil, or butter to the warm pan and add your diced onions. Cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened.
  5. Meanwhile, peel and chop the parsnips and apples into small chunks in whichever manner you like.
  6. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for a further minute.
  7. Add the parsnips and apples to the pan along with the stock and dried herbs. Bring the pan to a steady bubble.
  8. Allow the vegetables to simmer in the pan fairly gently with a lid on for 20-25 minutes until completely soft.
  9. Once cooked, add the milk, salt and pepper and use a hand/immersion blender or a regular food processor to blend the soup into a smooth consistency. You may need to add more milk to reach your desired consistency, some like it thicker than others!
  10. Once smooth, leave the pan on the heat while you grate the cheese.
  11. Add the cheese to the pan and allow it to melt into the hot soup for 2 minutes or so. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, pepper or cheese to meet your liking!
  12. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkling over some extra grated cheese, and serve with your favourite bread.
  13. Enjoy!

*If you don't like parsnips, feel free to use regular potatoes instead

*If cheddar isn't your favourite, use any cheese you like!

http://maverickbaking.com/cheddar-parsnip-apple-soup/

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