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Hard Cider Cheese Soup With Sauteed Apples and Pretzel Croutons Recipe

Excerpted from ‘Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family'

spinner image two bowls of creamy Hard Cider Cheese Soup With Sauteed Apples and Pretzel Croutons

Serves 4 to 6

At the first signs of fall in Tennessee — a cool breeze, the start of leaves changing color, the first outdoor bonfire — I crave soup. This cheesy cider soup ticks all the boxes. With three kinds of cheeses, caramelized apples and crunchy pretzel bites, there’s so much to love about this hearty soup. You’ll be ready for sweater weather!

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  • 4 tablespoons
  • (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Gala or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 soft pretzel rolls, sliced 1/4-inch thick


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion (I like Vidalia), grated
  • 3 medium carrots (about 6 ounces), grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle dry hard cider
  • 2-1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, grated


Make the garnish: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a cold baking sheet on the middle rack to preheat.

In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the apples. Spread the apples out in an even layer and let them caramelize on all sides, about 8 minutes. Set aside.

Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons butter on the pretzel roll slices. Remove the preheated pan from the oven. Carefully add the pretzel slices to the pan and toast in the oven for 3 minutes, then flip and toast until lightly golden brown, 3 minutes more. Set aside to cool.

Make the soup: In a large soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Stir in the cider and stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, in a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until there’s a light toasted fragrance, about 2 minutes, to make a light roux. Add the cloves and slowly whisk in the cream, making sure to break up any lumps. Keep stirring, making sure to not scorch the pan, until the cream thickens, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and slowly whisk 1/2 cup of the soup into the thickened cream. (This will smooth the cream so it doesn’t get lumpy when you add it to the soup.)

Reduce the heat under the soup to low and whisk in the thinned cream mixture. Add the cream cheese, cheddar and Colby Jack and stir until well blended. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup directly in the pot for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth (or carefully transfer the soup to a stand blender and blend until smooth).

Serve the soup with a spoonful of apple on top and some pretzel toasts on the side.

Excerpted from Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family © 2021 by Trisha Yearwood with Beth Yearwood Bernard. Photography © 2021 by Ben Fink. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.


Cook With Trisha

spinner image cover of 'Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family' cookbook with picture of Trisha Yearwood
Courtesy Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins

Two more recipes to try from Trisha’s Kitchen:

Garth’s Peach Kolaches

Have an abundance of peaches? Try this Czech-inspired pastry that Garth Brooks grew up eating in Oklahoma and still loves today.

Chicken Potpie Burgers

These combine all the savory vegetable flavors of Trisha’s mama’s classic chicken potpie and puts it on a bun.

Read our interview with Trisha Yearwood.


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