Cougar Gold, Apple & Onion Soup
The Most Eastern Washington Soup You’ll Ever Eat!
I’ve been a Washington State University Cougar my whole life. Born in Pullman, I spent my very early years running around campus with my dad. One of my favorite childhood memories was going to Ferdinand’s – the WSU Creamery’s store – whenever I could talk my dad into it. I mostly loved the ice cream, of course, but I also grew up eating Cougar Gold cheese. As an adult I realize how remarkable that is, but as a child I took it completely for granted. Cheese in a can? The most normal thing ever!
I was at a Barnard Griffin Winery event several years ago, where they were pairing foods with their new releases. I tried a soup with one of my tastings that was so delicious I HAD to ask for the recipe. Imagine my delight when they came back with a printed recipe from the WSU Creamery website! The cheese teamed up perfectly with a dry white wine and tart green apples to create a delicious, creamy soup that made me get seconds… and thirds. It is hands down one of the most Washington state recipes I have ever come across.
Since I discovered it, I make this amazing soup annually, usually for the Apple Cup football game between WSU and the University of Washington. Everyone who tastes it loves it, even the rival Husky fans that I have to hang out with. (Ha! Just kidding. Love you Craig!)
The other great thing about this recipe is how it highlights Eastern Washington produce. Just the title goes a long way in this: Cougar Gold from WSU, Eastern Washington grown apples, Walla Walla Sweet onions. It is the best of Eastern Washington in soup form.
The recipe is no longer on the WSU Creamery website, but lucky for me (and for you), I still have a printed copy. All credit goes to them! Go Cougs!
Serves 4-6, or Craig with a big spoon
- 5 cups chicken stock or canned broth
- 1 cup peeled and chopped potato
- 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (like a Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (Walla Walla Sweet Onions would do nicely!)
- 1/4 cup chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 4 cups grated Cougar Gold Cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy or light cream
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably fresh ground
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Thin apple slices for garnish
Step 1: Combine chicken stock or broth, potato, apples, onion, carrot, celery and thyme in a medium stock pot. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree mixture in a food processor (may need to be done in batches) or process with an immersion blender.
Step 2: Return soup to stock pot. Mix cornstarch with cold water and stir into soup. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add cheese and cook, stirring until cheese is melted. Add cream, nutmeg, and white pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes to incorporate flavors. Salt to taste.
Step 3: Stir wine in just before serving. Top each serving with 3 unpeeled slices of apple.
I use leeks instead of onion (because onion doesn’t like me) and it is just as yummy.
Check out our white wine selection in our shop! I always use the Barnard Griffin Sauvignon Blanc in this recipe because that is how I first had it. But I'm sure any dry white wine would be delicious, as well!
4 cups grated Cougar Gold Cheese is about half a can. You should absolutely eat the rest of the cheese while finishing the bottle of wine.