Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Apple cheddar soup with sage croutons

Claire Stubbs and Paula Bowman
Photography by
Edward Pond; food styling by Claire Stubbs; prop styling by Lara McGraw

Whip your apple-picking bounty into this chunky, rustic soup

Apple cheddar soup with sage croutons

serves 4 to 6


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 
Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 
cup each: chopped onion, parsnip and carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp finely chopped sage
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups each: water and apple juice
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 6 oz old cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 sage croutons (see how-to below)

Heat 1 tbsp butter and oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. 
Add next nine ingredients (apple through black pepper). Cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 
5 minutes. Add water and apple juice; bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Work-ing in batches, purée soup in a blender. Return to pot and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, heat remaining 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring con-stantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and stir until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until smooth. 
Pour sauce into soup and warm over low heat; do not boil again. Serve 
with sage croutons.

Sage croutons

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 
cups cubed focaccia bread
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat butter and oil in a small sauce-pan over medium heat until butter is frothy. Add sage leaves, stirring to combine. Pour over focaccia pieces in a bowl, tossing to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and toast in oven until croutons are crispy and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve with soup. 


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