Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School Dinner: Apple-Cheddar Soup & BLT Salad

Guess what folks?! It’s the first day of school again!  Another school year kicks off today and I’m very excited for a new semester.  Every new “first day of school” for a teacher is like New Years…..a new semester of opportunity, goals, growth, and learning; makes this professor all warm and fuzzy hehe

In honor of teachers, and those students who are the apple of our eye, I want to share this recipe with you.  It’s perfect for those evenings when you’re getting back from work, totally exhausted, but still need something comforting to get on the table.  This soup & salad is rich and light and creamy……all at the same time! You can get this bowl of comfort on the table in under 30 minutes!From the Kitchen of Darby HawleyDSC_0140-2
16 oz. sliced bacon, about one package
1 small onion, chopped
3 small red apples, peeled and chopped (Gala or Fuji work just fine)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups of hot water with 3 chicken bouillon cubes 
1 and a 1/2 cups organic apple juice (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 and a 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (I use sharp Irish cheddar cheese)
sliced french bread
2 tsp dijon mustard
salad fixin’s: lettuce, tomatoes (I like multi-colored tomatoes just because they’re colorful and pretty but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to; use what you’ve got), red onions, cucumbers, etc.

  1. Cook bacon in a large pot (i.e. dutch oven) until crispy and place on a paper towel to soak up the grease.  Once the bacon has cooled, you can go ahead and chop it up.
  2. In the same large pot (with the bacon grease) over medium heat, add the onions, apples, and potatoes.  Cook and stir frequently until they begin to soften (about 6-8 minutes).  Then add in the chicken broth, apple juice, salt, & pepper, and bring to a simmer for about 12 minutes.  Add the cheddar cheese and stir until it melts.
  3. For this step you have two options depending on what type of kitchen equipment you have (I have done this both ways and it works fine either way): If you’ve got a hand blender (like this one) you can simply stick that right into your pot and puree the mixture into a soup, OR you can work in batches putting the mixture into your blender to puree. 
  4. Once the soup has been pureed, return it back to your pot on low.  Now it’s time to make your bread and salad.
  5. For the bread: In a preheated broiler, add sliced french bread topped with dijon mustard and cheddar cheese for about 30 seconds (or until the cheese melts).  Then remove and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  6. For the salad:  Mix together a salad with the fixin’s of your choice.
  7. Once you’re at the table, top both the soup and salad with your chopped bread and bacon.
  8. Dig in :-)

Collage 1DSC_0148-2DSC_0141-2DSC_0140-2

I hope you enjoy this soup & salad and that it’s perfect for your busy week nights, but also warms your bellies during the school day as left overs :-)
xoxo Darby


Joy said...

This looks and sounds delicious. Will have to try it out soon.

thenerdykatie said...

I want this now!!!

Tess said...

I REALLY need an immersion blender. All of my favorite fall soups need it - do you use yours all the time? What brand do you have?

Jessica K said...

First off - you take beautiful food photos! And second - that sounds delish!! I will add that to my fall soup must trys!

Samantha @ Designer in Teal said...

Wow! This looks amazing :) Will definitely have to add that soup to my list for fall and you can't go wrong with a BLT! Thanks for the food inspiration...pinning now

XO Samantha

Susan Fleming said...

we are having one night this week--super idea!!

Sarah said...

Yum! This looks and sound delicious and your photos are beautiful!

Laura Darling said...

Yum this looks delicious!

Whitney said...

Wow this looks DELISH! I'm totally making this soon!

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