1In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add apples and onion. Cook 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft but not brown. Add carrot and cook 5 minutes longer or until carrot just begins to soften. Increase heat to medium. Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly as mixture thickens. Add 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring constantly with wire whisk to prevent lumps. As soon as broth is incorporated (about 20 seconds), add another 1/2 cup broth and stir again until incorporated. Add remaining broth and the apple juice.
2Increase heat to high. Heat soup to boiling, stirring occasionally. Stir well and add half-and-half, whipping cream and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently 15 minutes. (Do not let mixture boil or soup may curdle.)
3Remove bay leaf. Add brandy, cinnamon and red pepper. Gradually stir in cheese until completely melted and smooth, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. Garnish with parsley if desired.