A Local Twist on a Classic Soup

Sam’s Onion Soup

Serves 4

  • 2 lbs. Onions
  • 1 head garlic, crushed (Cherry Grove Organics)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12 oz (1 bottle) Dark Beer (Stout or Porter) or Black Style Beer
  • 1/3 lbs. CGF Rosedale, grated
  • 1 baguette (Village Bakery) sliced and toasted
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch Thyme, chopped


Julienne onions and heat medium stock pot over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, and then add onions. Caramelize onions over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic 5 minutes before the onions are done.

After adding the garlic, add 6 to 12 oz beer, depending on taste. Then reduce the volume of liquid by half. When reduced, add the chicken/vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce by 1/4 volume. Add chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle hot soup into oven-safe bowls, place a crostini on top with some Rosedale, and then place under the broiler until brown. Enjoy!

Item of the Week: 11/11/12


Muirhead’s Award-Winning Green Tomato Mincemeat



It’s green tomato season—just a little too cold for those stragglers to ripen on the vine. So what can you do with these stubborn nightshades that refuse to grow up? Well, you could bread them and fry them. But, they can also make a delicious sweet treat! That’s why we are featuring Muirhead’s Award Winning Green Tomato Mincemeat as the item of the week! It seems counter-intuitive,  but this mincemeat is not actually made with meat. The ingredients include green tomatoes, apples, raisins, sugar, butter, cider vinegar, and spices. This product can be used in pie fillings, cookies, or even as a delicious pairing with cheese (did someone say fromage blanc??). To make things easy, here is a recipe straight from the jar. Enjoy!




Base & Topping:

  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked oatmeal
  • ½ cup all–purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut or chopped nuts
  • ½ cup butter


Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine oatmeal, flour, sugar, and coconut or nuts. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumbs firmly in bottom of ungreased 8×8 inch pan. Place Muirhead Mincemeat in bowl and warm in microwave for 20 seconds. Spread evenly over crumb bottom. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and press lightly. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into bars. Serves 16.

A Fair Day at Cherry Grove Farm

Last week our friends at Fair Food Farmstand dropped by! We had a fantastic time giving them a behind-the-scenes look at how we operate on a daily basis, and we even got our hands a little dirty in the process! Fair Food Farmstand carries our farmstead cheeses and a plethora of other farm-sourced goodies at their stand in the Philadelphia Reading Terminal Market. Next time you are in the city, be sure to check them out! Here is what they had to say about their visit to Cherry Grove:


Last Tuesday, the boys of Fair Food—myself, Noel and Nate—took a trip to Cherry Grove Farm in Lawrenceville, NJ. We met some very fine folks including Stacey, our lovely tour guide; Sam, the head cheese maker; and Malachy, our former Farmstand cheese intern. Cherry Grove is a picturesque farm of 400 acres, 250 of which are certified organic pasture for their 115 Jersey and Short Horn cows. From these cows comes the sweet milk that produces some of our favorite cheeses at the Farmstand—the Havilah and Toma Primavera being two of our stand-by’s. 


Noel, Craig & Nate gear up for the cheesemaking room.


Our first leg of the tour was the cheese room and there was action! Sam was scooping, molding and pressing some fresh Herdsman. Malachy was hand-molding some beautiful bloomy rinds. Giant wheels of Havilah were soaking in their salt brine. We checked out their three caves: one for the bloomy rinds (that buttery Buttercup Brie), one for the Havilah, Herdsman and Jacks and a single cave just for the Toma Primavera.  


Cheese Curds


Next we took a tour of the farm and pastures. Cherry Grove puts a lot of effort into being a sustainable system. We met “the spreader” which is a nifty conveyor belt that recycles the cow manure into fertilizer. We saw “the sucker” which takes the excess whey from the cheese room and pipes it to their 100% whey-fed Berkshire pigs. Their wood fire heat exchanger provides heat and hot water for all of the cheese making and the farm store. The wood comes from local tree surgeons who deliver the wood that they would normally have to pay to landfill—pretty cool if you ask me! 


Cherry Grove’s Pastures


Lastly we got to spend some time with the pasture-raised chickens. There is no experience quite like harvesting eggs with 1,000 clucking and pecking chickens at your feet on a 95-degree summer day. We had a blast, to say the least! Living in the city, it’s incredibly refreshing to spend time on a farm—so much that we worked for fun! 


Aging Wheels of Toma Primavera


We wrapped up our tour with a cheese tasting and we were fortunate to come home with treats: our harvested eggs; delicious pork products for ourselves; and a couple of wheels of Toma Primavera (the first batches of the season!) for your enjoyment at the Farmstand.

The folks at Cherry Grove were so knowledgeable, and fun—I am already looking forward to our next visit! In the meantime we’ll keep on enjoying their delicious cheeses and organic veggies down at the stand!




1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens