By Liana Scarsella
Photo courtesy of Tieton Cider Works
Food and wine duo? Got it. Beer and bites? No problem. But what does one do when they crave cider during mealtime? Sharon Campbell, co-owner of Tieton Cider Works, asked herself that very question one day five years ago when she says she realized “cider pairing isn’t something many people think to do.”
An “at-home cook,” Campbell has traveled the road of much toil and toll (or more appropriately, boil and roll) in the kitchen. Devoted to encouraging fans of the Tieton, Washington-based cidery to “seek expansion” in their cuisine routine, she sought the expertise of chef Olaiya Land to accompany her in forging the path of her idea.
Since then, the pair-seeking pair has uncovered some unique ways to enjoy cider at any meal. These unexpected combinations are what make it “a fun collaboration,” according to Campbell. One of her favorite offbeat eats is this Roasted Carrot and Leek Soup.
This recipe matches the cidery’s driest blend, Tieton Dry. “There’s an earthiness to carrots but also a sweetness,” Campbell says. “Our dry cider complements the sweetness, it cuts through all the butter and cleanses your palate with each bite.”
If you’re curious what she means by “all the butter,” you’ll want to investigate this buttery, veggie-filled, fall friendly recipe for yourself. Bacon addicts proceed with caution.
Roasted Carrot and Leek Soup
Yields 10-12 servings
10 tablespoons butter
5 pounds young carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
2-3 large leeks, chopped (white and pale green parts)
1 1/3 cups chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced ginger
10 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Garnish: crème fraîche, minced preserved lemon and crumbled pancetta or Maple-bacon chutney (below)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium heat. Remove from heat, add carrots and toss to coat. Lightly salt and arrange carrots on baking sheets. Roast until tender and browning, stirring occasionally, about 20-30 minutes.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, ginger and generous pinch of salt. Sauté until leeks soften, about 10 minutes. Add roasted carrots, sauté for 2 minutes. Add broth and boil. Reduce heat, simmer until leeks and celery are very tender, about 20 minutes.
In batches, puree soup in blender. Return to pot. Add more broth and salt if desired.
Bring soup to a simmer. Ladle into bowls. Garnish.
Yields ¾ cup
6 thick cut slices bacon (or pancetta)
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon grade B syrup, add more until desired consistency
1 tablespoon chopped chives
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Chop bacon into ¼-inch strips.
Cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain excess fat. Add shallot and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in maple syrup, cook for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat, add chives and black pepper. Thin with additional maple syrup to desired consistency.
Can be made up to 4 days in advance. Serve at room temperature with Tieton Dry cider!