Smokey Apple and Cheddar Soup
6 strips of East Meats West Smokey Beef Strips
6 cups (1.5 L) East Meats West chicken broth
1 cup (250 mL) each chopped onion, celery and carrot
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each, salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 bay leaves
4 cups (1 L) chopped peeled tart apples
1 cup (250 mL) apple cider
2 cups (500 mL) grated old cheddar
In a skillet, cook Beef Strips over medium high until heated through but not crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Break into pieces and set aside.
Drain all but 2 tbsp (25 mL) of fat from the pan. Return pan to medium high heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring often until onion is tender and golden, about 8 minutes.
Stir in thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaves and apple; cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in cider and broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and blend with immersion blender until smooth or transfer to blender in batches and blend until smooth.
Whisk in cheddar until well blended (may need to heat soup to incorporate cheese completely). Serve in warmed soup bowls topped with reserved Beef Strips.