This Cheddar Cheese Apple Soup is bursting with robust, sweet and savory flavors, plus it’s incredibly easy to make! This ultra-creamy, velvety-smooth soup is insanely delicious with notes of fruity apples, sharp cheddar, salty bacon, subtle sweet potatoes and complex apple cider! This five-star recipe is the definition of fall comfort food and it’s guaranteed to get rave reviews! (vegetarian option)
Serve this comforting soup in a bread bowl for a fast, warming dinner that’s sure to hit the spot! Or, pair it with a hearty green salad and plenty of crusty bread for a more well-rounded meal! Continue to read on for helpful tips on preparing the perfect cheddar cheese soup with apples! And, don’t miss the in-depth step-by-step photos and recipe video at the bottom of the post!
Update: This post was originally published in November 2016. I’ve made updates to the post below to include more information about potato apple soup. Plus, I’ve included step-by-step photos and a recipe video to show you exactly how easy this cozy fall soup is to make!
Hi there, friends! Have you started planning your Thanksgiving yet? Are you the super organized type – is your brain already in full throttle holiday mode? World watch out, you could do Thanksgiving tomorrow if the opportunity arose! Or, are you a procrastinator? Like, talk to you on November 22nd and you might have the menu finalized.
Well, regardless of what camp you fall into, I’m going to help you out with the starter or side portion of your menu! So, bust out your comfiest threads and let’s get our Thanksgiving meal planning on!
Cheddar Apple Soup
…with crispy bacon (or prosciutto) and pumpkin seeds!
This soup! I feel like this soup needs no explanation, because Apple + Cheddar + Bacon + Cider = ALL the cozy soup feels. But, I’m going to indulge you. This apple soup recipe is so straight up slurp-able and deliciousness that it needs a little delineation!
Let’s break it down!
This soup is ultra creamy, super smooth and luscious with notes of fruity apples, subtly sharp cheddar cheese, mild sweet potatoes and sweet apple cider. Generously sprinkled with crispy, salty bacon and crunchy, seasonal pumpkin seeds, this soup is like a warm hug on the coldest winter day! At first glance this soup may sound a little odd, but you have to try it to believe it! No lie, the flavor of this soup will totally knock your socks off and soothe your soul! The ingredients are totally humble and unassuming, but the taste is absolutely EPIC!
On top of all that festive fabulousness for your taste buds, this soup couldn’t be any easier to whip together! This recipe is made entirely in one pot and comes together in 35 minutes or less! It’s perfect for an easy, comforting weeknight dinner! Or, it’s a wonderful addition to your holiday menu!
What is apple soup?
Apple soup is a comforting soup that features fresh apples as the primary ingredient. The apples can be raw and pureed, sautéed or roasted. Stock or broth, along with various vegetables, such as onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips and pumpkin, are often used to add flavor.
Apple soup can be served as a rustic, chunky soup, or pureed for a thicker, creamy consistency.
What ingredients do I need to make apple cheddar cheese soup?
This easy soup with apples recipe only requires 10 ingredients, plus a few pantry staples to create a soup that is creamy, silky-smooth and bursting with flavor!
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
- Bacon: Six slices of bacon deliver a touch of salty, smoky flavor. You can omit the bacon if desired.
- Sweet Potato: One small sweet potato adds a subtly sweet flavor, as well as bit of starch to help naturally thicken the soup.
- Onion: One whole onion provides a touch of astringent, sharp flavor. You can use a yellow, white or red onion.
- Garlic: Two cloves of garlic add a delicate, yet distinctive, punchy flavor.
- Flour: Two tablespoons of all-purpose flour give the soup a bit of body.
- Stock: Reduced sodium or unsalted chicken or vegetable stock provides the liquid base for this soup. You can substitute broth if you prefer.
- Cider: Apple cider adds complex, sweet and tart flavor. I prefer to use hoppy hard apple cider, but you can substitute a good-quality apple cider.
- Cream: Heavy cream gives the soup a velvety, decadent mouthfeel.
- Aromatics & Seasonings: Fresh thyme, bay leaves, kosher salt and ground black pepper all provide flavor.
- Brandy: Two tablespoons of brandy add a beautiful touch of sweet, fruity flavor.
- Cheddar: 12 ounces of freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese give the soup a deep, complex flavor. You can use yellow or white sharp cheddar depending upon your preference.
Best varieties of apples for cooking?
Fresh apples add a punch of sweet, fruity flavor to this savory soup! The best apples for soups are ones that will break down and soften quickly. I prefer to use a combination of apple varieties for the most robust, complex flavor.
- Fiji apples are flavor-forward and incredibly sweet.
- Gala apples are aromatically-sweet and feature a pretty pink-orange stripe atop a yellow background.
- Honeycrisp apples are incredibly juicy with a moderately sweet and subtly tart flavor.
- Granny Smith apples have a delicious tart flavor and are pale green in color! I love pairing them with sweeter Fiji apples.
- Golden Delicious apples are mellow and sweet in flavor. They are a cheery bright yellow in color.
- McIntosh apples are one of the least firm varieties. Their soft flesh is often described as ‘creamy‘.
- Pink Lady apples have a unique sweet-tart flavor and are named for their bright pink skin.
- Jonagold apples are a hybrid of the golden delicious. They have a sweet and tart flavor.
- Cameo apples are juicy, crisp and sweet in flavor with the slightest touch of tart.
- Piñata apples, also known as Pinova, are sweet and tart in flavor with a slightly tropical taste.
- Braeburn apples are bold in flavor. They have a sweet-tart taste with a hint of spice.
How to select and store apples?
Now that you are familiar with the different types of apples perfect for cooking, below are a few tips on how to select and store apples!
- Choose firm apples: When selecting apples at the store, look for those without any bruises, cuts or soft spots.
- Select shiny apples: Look for apples with a shiny skin. Apples with dull, lackluster skin indicate a lack of crispness and flavor.
- Keep them cool: You should store apples in a dark and cold environment. The ideal storage temperature is between 30 to 35°F. The crisper drawer of your refrigerator works well.
How to make cheddar cheese apple soup?
Apple soup is incredibly easy to prepare! This recipe is made entirely in one pot and it comes together in 35 minutes!
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed measurements in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
- Cook the bacon (optional): Place a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Add the vegetables: In the same pot, add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add in the onions and apples. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add liquids: Slowly add the stock, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the apple cider, thyme and bay leaves. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaves and discard.
- Puree: Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Or, transfer the soup in batches to high-speed stand blender and puree. Return soup to the pot.
- Add brandy and cream: Turn the heat to medium-low and stir in the brandy and cream. Cook until warm throughout.
- Add cheese: Turn the heat to low. Add the cheese in three batches, stirring constantly until cheese is melted and smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve: Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with crispy bacon. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and parmesan if using. Enjoy!
Step by step photos:
How long will apple soup last?
While soup is best served warm and immediately after cooking, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, leftovers will keep for up to 3 to 4 days.
How to reheat soup?
Apple soup should be reheated in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until warm throughout. Make sure you do not boil the soup or reheat it over high heat. Since this soup contains both cheese and cream, boiling it will cause the ingredients to separate.
Can you freeze apple soup?
Yes! You can absolutely freeze this cheddar apple soup! In fact, I highly recommend making a big batch of this soup and freezing it into convenient grab-and-go meals for those busy hectic work nights!
Freezing apple soup is easy. Simply follow the recipe as directed, omitting the cream and any garnishes (including the bacon). Allow the soup to cool completely. Once cool, transfer the soup to freezer-safe bags or containers, making sure to leave an 1 inch or more of space at the top to accommodate for expansion. The soup can safely be frozen for up to 3 months.
When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the soup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and stir until warm throughout. Sprinkle with bacon and enjoy!
Cozy, creamy-dreamy and a cinch to whip together, this Cheddar Apple Cider Soup NEEDS to be on your Thanksgiving table!
Until Thursday friends, cheers – to cider spiked soup!
Looking for more apple recipes?
If you love this cheddar cheese soup with apples, try one of these delicious recipes next:
How to make Cheddar Apple Soup👇
Cheddar Cheese Apple Soup
- Large Soup Pot
- Immersion Blender or High Speed Blender
- 6 slices Bacon (OPTIONAL - SEE NOTES)
- 1 medium Sweet Potato – peeled and roughly small dice(about 2 heaping cups)
- 1 medium Yellow Onion – peeled & small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 Apples – peeled and small dice (about 3 1/4 cups) (SEE NOTES)
- 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 2 TBS All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Stock
- 2 Cups Hard Apple Cider or Regular Cider
- 1 scant TBS Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 TBS Brandy
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream - or more to taste
- 12 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese – shredded (about 3 1/2 cups)
- Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper , to taste
Optional Garnishes: Pumpkin Seeds, Grated Parmesan
- Cook the bacon (optional): Place a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Blot or drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pot.
- Add the vegetables: In the same pot, add the potatoes and increase the heat to medium-high. Season with 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add in the onions and apples. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is incorporated, about 2 minutes.
- Add liquids: Slowly add the stock and use the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the apple cider, thyme and bay leaves. Stir well to combine. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaves and discard.
- Puree: Turn the heat off under the pot and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. OR, transfer the soup in batches to high-speed stand blender and puree. Return soup to the pot.
- Add brandy and cream: Turn heat to medium-low and stir in the brandy and cream. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until warm throughout.
- Add cheese: Turn the heat to low. Add the cheese in three batches, stirring constantly until cheese is melted and smooth before adding the next batch of cheese. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- To serve: Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with crispy bacon. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and parmesan if using. Enjoy!
- Bacon: You can easily omit the bacon! Skip step 1 of the recipe. Use two tablespoons of unsalted butter or olive oil to sauté the vegetables in step 2.
- Apples: I like to use a combination of apples for a more complex taste. Fiji, Gala and Golden delicious apples are my personal favorite, but use whatever apple variety you prefer. (See the post for a full list of the best apple varieties for cooking.)
- Prepping Apples: I prefer to peel and chop my apples in advance to save prep time later (especially at Thanksgiving). To prevent apples from turning brown mix 1 teaspoon of kosher salt with 2 cups of water and store your chopped apples in the salt water (covered and refrigerated). Before using them simply rinse and drain. You can easily double the salt water mixture if needed.
- Cream: I used heavy cream in this soup, but if you would like to substitute half-and-half feel free. However, your soup will be on the thinner side.
- Seasoning: Make sure you taste the soup and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper before serving. Complex soups require a good amount of salt to really make the flavors sing, so don’t be scared to generously salt!
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