cheddar apple ale soup + sage toasts

october 20th, 2015


It's been awhile since I've had a weekend wide open to relax and catch up. While I love weekend road trips and exploring new corners of New England, there sure is a whole lot to be said for waking up slow on a Saturday morning, long riverside runs, and taking the time to re-energize and simply be. A change in season always helps to remind me to slow down and savor the simpler things.

When the temps outside begin to drop, I tend to seek comfort and coziness. The down comforter is broken out, wool socks are donned, and hearty food is roasted and warmed. The fall colors this year have got me like woah, and I decided to make something to match the golden leaves on the trees outside my window. This soup is creamy and decadent and warms you up from your fingertips to your toes. Enjoy a big bowl of this cheddar apple ale soup with crispy sage toasts to dunk and crunch on. 

Eat, drink, and be cozy :)

cheddar apple ale soup - 

serves 4

ingredients - 

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup pale ale of choice 
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp worchestershire sause 
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream 
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (cabot seriously sharp is my favorite)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • sage leaves
  • flakey salt 
  • 1 loaf fresh crusty bread

In a large dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pot. Cover and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes, add diced apples, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Stir in the flour for a few minutes, then add the ale and stir. Next mix in the light cream, worchestershire sauce, and vegetable broth. Turn up heat to medium-high to bring soup to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 - 12 minutes. 

Remove soup from heat and puree contents in batches or with an immersion blender until smooth. Place the soup over medium-low heat and add the grated cheddar cheese to the pot in handfuls. Stir constantly to evenly melt throughout soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover until ready to serve. 

toasts - 

Heat oven to broil, drizzle bread with olive oil, and place in the oven for 5 minutes. These will crisp up quick so keep an eye on them! While the toasts are crisping, pour a generous amount of olive oil into a small skillet. Once oil is hot, add sage leaves. The oil should pop and bubble when the sage leaves are added. Heat for 2-3 minutes and remove from the skillet. Take the toasts out of the oven, sprinkle with crispy sage and flakey salt, and serve on top of or on the side of soup.

Be sure to follow @homesweet_mary on instagram and tag #HSrecipes when you try out a recipe!

roasted tomato soup + cheesy crostini 

june 5th, 2015


The other day I found myself with a whole lot of big ruby red tomatoes, and I just could not wait to make a beautiful panzanella salad. It's June! And I planned to celebrate accordingly with a meal featuring some bright, summertime fare. Mother Nature, however, had other plans in mind. I woke up to rain, wind, and gray the next day, 46 degrees and dropping. It's June, I thought to myself. What the heck?!

I really shouldn't be surprised by the crazy weather patterns of the Northeast at this point. I've experienced April in Vermont, sunny and 65 one day with a snow squall the next. But, true to my roots, the San Diegan in me is consistently surprised by anything other than sunshine. While I'll never turn my nose up at a nice day, there's always been something about a chilly and gray day that I've loved. They're so rare back home, and my mom would sometimes fill them with homemade chicken soup, my dad baking up his sourdough bread to enjoy as well. So, with a bunch of big, beautiful tomatoes and a fresh loaf of grainy bread on my kitchen counter, the answer felt obvious. I was craving some coziness, and wanted to make something simple and satisfying, something that would warm me up from the inside out. This soup is all of those things and much more. It's got just the right amount of acidity and texture, and can easily be made even richer with a splash of cream. Within minutes I felt warmed up and happy as a clam, enjoying this roasted tomato soup with one of my favorite humans. 

Enjoy :)

roasted tomato soup - 

serves 2 generously 

  • 1.25 lbs ripe tomatoes (~4 large tomatoes), quartered - *use local tomatoes if possible, I promise they're tastier!
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • fresh basil for garnish
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
  • fresh multigrain or french bread, thickly sliced
  • sharp cheddar or mozzarella cheese, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the tomatoes and onion into wedges. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, lots of pepper, and chopped sage. Gently toss the tomatoes and onion with your hands to coat evenly. A trick I recently learned - tuck the garlic cloves into the tomato wedges so they soften but don't burn (thanks Sprouted Kitchen!) Roast for roughly 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have blistered, broken down, and reduced to about half their size. Remove and let cool for just a few minutes. 

Warm the broth in a large pot, stirring in the tomato paste until dissolved. Add your roasted ingredients to the pot and let simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or blend in batches using a food processor or blender. The soup should be smooth but textured. Return it back to the pot, and if desired, add the cream to taste. To be honest, I didn't use any cream in this batch and it tasted plenty rich and satisfying. The cheesy crostini felt decadent and delicious in it's place. Add salt and/or pepper to taste. 

Enjoy with a crispy grilled cheese sandwich, some toasted bread, or broil a few slices with a piece of sharp cheddar or mozzarella on top. Finish with fresh chopped basil and be well :).