One of my favorite sandwich combos is creamy brie or camembert with sliced apples or pears. There a couple of places around town that serve these – toasted or pressed or cold, on brioche, ciabatta or baguette. I can’t resist ordering when I see it on the menu, but of course I also make them for myself occasionally. When I was planning out soup month on The Spoon, I was at first trying to think of a soup I could serve with a brie and apple sandwich. Then it struck me to flip the script and use these two great ingredients in a soup. I decided to use camembert instead of brie (though you could switch), for its more distinct, earthy flavor. I am remarkably pleased with the rich, creamy results.
This soup is sophisticated enough to serve in delicate china cups at a dinner party, but also makes a wonderful rustic meal, served with a classic jambon beurre, a baguette layered with butter and ham or an open faced toasted ham tartine. You could also float a thin toasted baguette slice on the top of the soup. Use a lighter colored apple juice or cider, such as honeycrisp, as the darker or unfiltered versions will muddy the lovely pale color of the soup.
- 8 ounce wheel camembert
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 tart green apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon marjoram leaves
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup apple juice or cider, such as honeycrisp
- Remove the camembert from its packaging and cut away as much of the rind as possible. You don’t have to be too meticulous, just remove the thickest parts. Cut the cheese into cubes and set aside. It is easier to do all this while the cheese is cold and firm, but you want it to come closer to room temperature before adding it to the soup.
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped celery, apple and onion and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until everything is soft and the apples are beginning to break down. Try not to let anything brown. Sprinkle over the marjoram leaves and a generous pinch of salt and cook for a few more minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the broth and the apple juice and stir to combine. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes, until everything is completely tender. Stir in the camembert, a little at a time, stirring until each addition is melted before adding the next.
- Leave the soup to cool for 10 – 15 minutes, then transfer to blender and puree until smooth. Be careful if the soup is still hot, vent the blender lid and hold it down with a tea towel. You may need to do this in two batches. Blend until completely smooth. Wipe out the pot to remove any stray pieces, then pour the soup through a strainer back into the pot. Heat through on low heat season to taste and serve