This rich soup makes a hearty and satisfying main course; accompany it with a crisp green salad and a loaf of crusty bread.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Dijon
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 red or green apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 3 minutes. Whisk in the broth, cider and Worcestershire sauce; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until thickened and the vegetables are very tender, 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 5 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and puree. Return to the saucepan and stir in the heavy cream and mustard and heat over medium until hot, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cheese and salt and stir until melted and smooth. Divide among bowls and garnish with chopped apple.