Apple-based soup is a refreshing change

1Hungarianapplesoup111713

This soup isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill soup. It isn’t loaded with cheese, it’s not mellow like the butternut squash soup recipe I posted a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely more tart than the white bean-and-rosemary soup I made earlier this year.

While I usually tend to favor more mellow flavors for soups, the tartness in this Hungarian Apple Soup was a refreshing surprise. When I was preparing it, I thought the potato would cancel out the apple flavor, but that flavor was first and foremost in the end. It was a pleasant surprise.

I doubled the recipe because I had two apples I needed to use, but you can visit the original recipe if you only want to make three cups of soup.

If you’re looking for a soup that will awaken your tastebuds as we head into winter, this is it.

Next week I’ll begin my cookie countdown to Christmas. Get ready for some new favorites with great flavor.

Ingredients
1 1/3 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups diced peeled Yukon Gold potato
2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery, plus leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Pinch of paprika, preferably hot Hungarian
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add apple, potato, onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt, sage, paprika and pepper; cook for 30 seconds. Pour in broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and gently simmer until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the soup to a large blender or food processor, add sour cream and process until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Garnish with celery leaves, if desired.

Advertisements

Dutch oven delights turn into cold weather classics

soup2

My best friend gave me a Dutch oven for Christmas. I’ve seen dozens of recipes I’d like to try and have pinned on Pinterest, but now I can actually try them. Since I’ve already used it for a few different recipes, I’ve decided that January will be Dutch oven month on my blog.

The temperature in Tahoe has been dropping to a single digit on a regular basis during the past month or two, which has put me in the mood for hot, healthy food. While this first recipe doesn’t require the use of a Dutch oven, I wanted to test its stovetop capability. The instructions for mine say it shouldn’t be put on high heat, so I wanted to see whether I could get anything to boil on a lower setting.

About six years ago, I clipped this recipe for White Bean and Rosemary Soup from O magazine. It has since become one of my favorite go-to recipes when I want to make soup. One tip I’d like to offer is to chop the rosemary as small as possible. Getting a larger piece in the middle of the soup is annoying. The croutons are good, too, but when I’m only cooking for myself, I opt for a piece of toast instead.

I recently attended an outdoor concert in the area and was an icicle when I returned home. It was so nice to have a pot of soup ready to heat up to help me defrost. It was just what I wanted.

Croutons
2 whole heads garlic
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt , plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 loaf unsliced whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice off tops of garlic heads so the cloves are just exposed. Rub each head with 1 teaspoon olive oil; wrap loosely in foil. Roast 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven (but leave oven on); let garlic cool until comfortable to touch. Squeeze cloves from the heads into a small bowl; mash with a fork; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine half the roasted garlic with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Add bread and toss until well coated. Place bread on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. soup3

Soup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch coins
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) white beans, drained, rinsed and drained again
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

To make soup: In a large saucepan, heat butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth and remaining half of garlic and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook 20 minutes, until carrots are very tender. Add drained beans and rosemary; cook 10 more minutes. With an immersion blender or in a food processor fitted with knife blade, puree half the soup until smooth. Stir to combine. Serve in bowls topped with croutons and drizzled with remaining olive oil.