This Is October (In A Bowl)

October 9, 2019
This Is October (In A Bowl) - It's a hearty soup that's easy to pull together and filled with potatoes, chopped apples, and melty cheddar cheese

Midweek Inspiration No. 13:  Apples!  Whatever should we be doing with all of our apples?

Photo Credit: The Right Wording

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This is the story of a girl who was hungry

For what, I am oft unsure. But after decades of being luke-warm to apples, it appears I've changed my mind.

Since my husband came home with our first bag of apples this fall, I've pulled the following from my oven: a lovely and bubbly apple crisp for book club.  Not to mention, the batches and batches of baked apples, which I've been gifting to anyone and everyone.

During the day, I've been snacking on slices of cheese and cheddar.  Dinner, more often than not, has been the most delicious dark-leafy romaine salad with apple, cheddar, with a mustardy dressing — apple cider from the farmers market to wash it all down.

In truth, I can’t tell you what’s come over me, but here I am, none-the-less.

So I've taken to asking everyone what their favorite ways to use apples are.  There are no rules: hot, cold, a side dish, healthy dessert, salad, soup, snack, etc.  Anything where apples are the star of the show, I'm all ears!

I can only say that with a notebook full of great ideas, there are no plans to stop.

This Is October (In A Bowl) - It's a hearty soup that's easy to pull together and filled with potatoes, chopped apples, and melty cheddar cheese

Today, I thought it might be fun to share a few.  In case you're looking for ways to up your apple game

Applesauce!  “It's ridiculously simple and amazingly tasty when homemade.  Wash 10-15 apples, slice them in half, and put them in a pot with a cup of water and a bit of sugar (she liked to use 1/4 cup brown).  Turn the heat on low, let the apples simmer for 30 min-1hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so.  Once they've cooked down and mushy, dump the whole thing into a food mill to get rid of the seeds and stems and skins.  Then put the remains back in the pot and taste it.  Add more sugar, a bit of lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg to taste.”

German Apple Pancake – “One of my all-time favorites for everything from breakfast to dessert.  Or try it without the pan: German Apple Cake.”

“You should make caramel apples and hand them out to all your friends.”

Apple Butter – “An excellent project for a rainy afternoon and so much easier than it sounds.”

“Apples and cheese (of course!)  – Pick up small quantities of several kinds of cheese and experiment with what you like best with which type of apples.  (personally, I like Munster or sharp Cheddar with Gala or Fujis)”

“For breakfast (or dessert), cut cored apples into rings and saute them in a frying pan along with a small dab of butter.  Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.  They're especially good on oatmeal.”

“Apple slices dipped in peanut butter – it never gets old.”

This Is October (In A Bowl) - It's a hearty soup that's easy to pull together and filled with potatoes, chopped apples, and melty cheddar cheese

Smitten Kitchen's apple cheddar scones – “Have you heard of them?  When my wife and I were first dating, she brought these on a picnic, and I couldn’t get enough!”

“It takes a bit of investment in terms of effort and equipment but, seriously, Cider, baby!”

“A big crunchy apple smothered in melted chocolate is one step closer to living my best life.”

“Salted popcorn is a good nibble alongside apples.”

“Last night I made a red cabbage and apple braise; it was delicious and highly recommended, especially with some pork, but I imagine it would be nice generally.  I didn't follow a recipe, but it involved garlic, red cabbage, apple, apple cider, allspice, caraway seeds, lemon juice, vinegar, and brown sugar. Google has a few million recipes.”

“I know!  Get some tart(-ish) apples and make a yummy apple salsa.”

“Pair apples with pork, specifically pork sausages.  I love it with some of the milder English cheeses like double Gloucester or Wensleydale.”

This Is October (In A Bowl) - It's a hearty soup that's easy to pull together and filled with potatoes, chopped apples, and melty cheddar cheese

“I never understood the whole cheddar cheese and apple pie thing until my great aunt cut me a slab of each one day.  Great aunts know what they’re talking about.”

“One of my favorite things is to make a quesadilla with apples and sharp cheddar cheese; it’s divine.”

“I threw an apple tasting party (10 guests) a few years ago using 10 – 12 different types of apples from the orchard.  I asked everybody to bring cheeses, bread, wine, nuts, or anything else that they thought would taste good with apples.  It was so much fun!”

“The next time you bake a warm, apple pie, top it with a dollop of pimento cheese.  I know it sounds weird, but somewhere in the South it must have become a tradition because my family would do that as a special treat, and it really is delicious.”

Chicken in Apple Whiskey Sauce

“My grandpa used to say that ‘apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze'”

“If you love Honeycrisps and cheddar, try my fave sandwich in the fall/winter!  Spread hot mustard on two slices of hearty whole-grain bread. Then put extra sharp cheddar cheese on each piece, along with slices of apples.  Grill it like you would a grilled cheese.  Seriously, it's the best combination of flavors!”

This Is October (In A Bowl) - It's a hearty soup that's easy to pull together and filled with potatoes, chopped apples, and melty cheddar cheese

A list wouldn't be complete without soup, and this apple cheddar version has all of the best flavors of fall.

It's a hearty soup that's easy to pull together and filled with potatoes, chopped apples, and melty cheddar cheese.  A piece of crusty bread or salad on the side never hurt anything.

It's warming, filling, and comforting; delightful topped with crumbly croutons and bacon (although I'm all for traditional bacon bits, too).

Here’s to licking the bowl, every last bit of it.



~ Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Apple and Cheddar Soup


  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, chopped and peeled (~ 3 cups)
  • 2 cups chicken broth + more for thinning
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp snipped fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • dash cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 medium apple, coarsley chopped
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp flour (any flour is great and use gluten-free, if you need)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (~ 4 oz)

For Serving

  • apple slices
  • black pepper
  • toasted crusty bread, crumbled
  • bacon bits


  • Warm butter in a large saucepan and saute the onion until tender.
  • Stir in potatoes, cider, thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Add chopped apple; simmer, covered, 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • In a small bowl, combine the milk and flour; stir into soup. Cook and stir until bubbly.
  • Slowly add cheese, whisking until cheese is melted. 
  • Divide soup among serving dishes; top with apple slices, peppercorns, crumbled croutons, and bacon bits
Serves: 4
Nutrition + Show
Calories 315
Total Fat 14.7g
Saturated Fat 8g
Carbohydrates 35g
Fiber 4.5g
Sugars 11.4g
Protein 12.7g
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  • Reply Bee October 9, 2019 at 9:09 am

    I’ve made Nigella Lawson’s spiced apple chutney and found that it went beautifully served alongside our Thanksgiving turkey (but was even more divine with cheese and bread!)

  • Reply Sarah Bailey October 9, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Ok now this sounds like it would be right up my street I mean cheddar and apple together yes please!

  • Reply Eva October 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t have a recipe for this because it’s just something I’ve only watched my grandma make, but roasting apples in the pan with the chicken imparts a wonderful fruity flavor to the chicken and makes a side dish/sauce of ever-so-slightly savory, sweet and soft apples with a nice rich sauce. I’m 99% positive it’s a French tradition.

  • Reply Tammy October 10, 2019 at 8:49 am

    5 stars
    I’ve been wanting to make my own applesauce for a very long time but never have. You have inspired me. Soup looks so tasty!!

  • Reply Alli Smith October 10, 2019 at 9:07 am

    5 stars
    I would love to try your Apple and Cheddar Soup. Apples are my jam during the fall. I love apple crips, apple pies, caramel apples, and just plain Honeycrisp apples. Oh, and apple doughnuts.

  • Reply Amber Myers October 10, 2019 at 10:01 am

    5 stars
    I am intrigued by this! I’ve never had a soup with this flavor combo before, so I must make it! I know know I’ll like it because dipping apples in cheese fondue is amazing.

  • Reply Patty October 10, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    How about making some ice cream? Our downtown diner serves a cinnamon ice cream with caramel sauce and fresh apple slices. It’s beyond delicious! xo

  • Reply Catherine October 10, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    5 stars
    Apple Crisp, Apple Crisp, Apple Crisp.

    I love making apple crisp. It’s awesome, especially with some good ice cream on top for added fun.

  • Reply Jenna October 11, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Honeycrisps are my favorite, but they’re not the best for cooking (they don’t have enough acid and firmness to really stand up to protracted heat)
    A few ideas?
    – Dice them, toss them with honey, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, etc.
    – Slice and dry them, Then dip them in tempura batter, briefly fry them, and serve with caramel dip.
    – Slice them, toss them with some lemon juice, then serve them with a variety of super-indulgent sweet dips (think cinnamon cream cheese, pumpkin, bourbon whipped cream, etc)

  • Reply Ellen October 11, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Hey, I just wanted to say you’ve been a huge inspiration and started following you. I found you through your Ina Garten stew recipe, which is amazing. I’m just a poor medical student so this is only a hobby, but it’s fun to see the potential in food blogging. Thanks!

  • Reply Terri October 11, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    5 stars
    Ok, the soup looks amazing but I absolutely adore the little poem your grandpa said about apples and cheese. That is so adorable and something I plan to say to my own grandkids.

  • Reply Matt October 12, 2019 at 10:02 am

    I like fried apples and onions quite a bit. Don’t be afraid to salt generously. My mom made them all the time when we were kids.

  • Reply Rena October 12, 2019 at 10:35 am

    5 stars
    This is fascinating! I love apples, but never thought to make a soup. I’m not sure I can even wrap my head around it lol, but I do know I have to try it out!

  • Reply Maddie October 12, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Apple season is the best! For a mid-century retro-yumtastic touch, how about a Waldorf salad? Add some pomegranate jewels for seasonal color and crunch. My neighbor makes a version of this for all of our get-togethers and it’s so yummy. xx

  • Reply Meghan October 13, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    5 stars
    A second vote for applesauce! Make as big a pot as possible because it freezes beautifully. I stockpile quart-size containers of applesauce in my freezer and eat delicious applesauce that tastes like autumn all through the winter.

  • Reply Jenn October 14, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    5 stars
    Apple pie! If you don’t have a pie pan, don’t worry. You can make a rustic pie on a baking sheet. Just roll out the dough, put filling on it, and fold the sides up and partially over the filling.

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