Apple and Brie Soup with Bacon and Pumpkin Seed Granola

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APPLE & BRIE SOUP WITH BACON & PUMPKIN SEED GRANOLA
Reprinted from Half Baked Harvest Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Tieghan Gerard. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

 

When the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to change colors, my apple obsession kicks into high gear, and I begin to focus all my creativity on cooking and baking with apples. Enter this soup! This is the ultimate in fall comfort food. If there’s one recipe to make when the weather starts to change, this should be it. The Brie pairs so well with the sweet apples and autumn squash. Top off your bowl with savory pumpkin seed and bacon granola and this recipe will be one you return to year after year! Serves: 4

 

Apple and Brie Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small sweet onion, sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

⅔ cup apple cider

2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and chopped

3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

or pumpkin (about ½ medium)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I like to use pumpkin beer)

3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 cup whole milk

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into cubes

Bacon and Pumpkin Seed Granola

4 thick-cut bacon slices

2 tablespoons salted butter

½ cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Kosher salt

1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium. When it shimmers, add the onion and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until softened. Slowly add ⅓ cup of the cider and let it cook into the onions. Repeat until all the cider has been added and the onions are caramelized, about 10 minutes total. Add the apples, squash, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the beer, 3 cups of the broth, and the cayenne. Increase the heat to high, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the apples and squash are tender.

 

2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE GRANOLA. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate. When cool enough to handle, coarsely crumble the bacon.

 

3. In the same large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook until just beginning to brown and smell toasted. Add the oats and pumpkin seeds and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the crumbled bacon. Season with salt.

 

4. When the apples and squash are tender, transfer the soup to a blender and pulse until smooth

 

5. Return the soup to the pot and set over medium heat. Stir in the milk, then bring the soup to a low boil. Stir in the cheddar and Brie until melted and smooth. Add more broth to thin the soup, if desired. Simmer for about 5 minutes more, or until ready to serve.

 

6. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the granola.

In HALF BAKED HARVEST COOKBOOK: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountains Tieghan Gerard gives us her version of comfort food by adding brightness, texture, and fresh wholesome ingredients. Each recipe has a little something extra: dress up that cheese board with a real honeycomb; decorate a standard salad with spicy, crispy sweet potato fries; give French onion soup an Irish kick with Guinness and soda bread; bake a secret ingredient into your apple pie (hint: it’s molasses). Tieghan showcases the creativity that’s become her signature on her mega-popular and award-winning blog with more than 125 all-new recipes, each one joined by a striking photograph.

With a barn for a kitchen and goats for company, Tieghan has created a life that is completely lust-worthy—and delicious. Whether home cooks need a doable weeknight meal for tonight or are planning their next get-together with friends, HALF BAKED HARVEST COOKBOOK has their new favorite recipe. www.HalfBakedHarvest.com.

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