The apple season has started.
Obviously, apples are perfect crunched on their own, and at this time of year, used in baked goods from muffins and breads to pies. However, they make great additions to soups too. A classic for example is curried pumpkin and apple soup. Having avoided apples for a while, I am now getting back to them and I got the chance to pair them in soups with two other more green veggies in recent weeks.
In the wake of Food Day 2014, I got more inspiration from the Food Day Eat Real Recipe Collection and made a slightly modified version of Dan Barber's fennel and apple soup. This is a nice and simple, and fairly cost effective soup to make, and I was able to find the fresh (and main) ingredients at the Farmers Market: 3 fennel bulbs, 1 apple, a mild onion variety which I used instead of shallots, and fresh thyme which I always keep in the fridge and replenish.
I also did not use vegetable stock but simply water. I compensated by using a little cooking white wine when sauteing the onion, one of the first steps of the recipe. The next step is to saute the sliced fennel bulbs with the diced apple, cover with water (or stock), throw in some fennel seeds (optional if you do not have any) and let cook until tender (about 30'). The final step is to puree in the blender and finish with olive oil. So, very easy does it for this recipe, a great quality for mid-week dinners.
Prior to this soup, I had also made a kale and apple soup on National Kale Day which I posted on Instagram. Yet again, this is a very simple and nutritional soup to make. The making of this soup was quite similar to making the first soup, substituting a good bunch of curly kale or dino kale for the fennel. I added some quinoa (about a cup) to bulk the soup up and turn it into a complete meal, and used sage to boost the flavor and give it that Fall / seasonal taste. This actually worked quite well.
So both these soups are very easy to make, comforting for shortening and cooler days, seasonal, relatively low cost, and delicious. And being both nutrient dense, will definitely keep the Doctor away :).
Happy Fall Soup Making!
By the way:
- You can also finish the soups with some dairy or non-dairy cream if you are so inclined.
- You can also use a meat-based stock if you are so inclined.
- Both soups will satisfy gluten-free, dairy-free (without cream :)), healthy, Meatless-Monday, clean, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, flexitarian and reducetarian eaters (success! :))