[I thought it would be fun to run a little series over here at DDD: I'll profile one one of my favorite foods, or a food that I've recently discovered and enjoyed, over several days. The series is presented on an occasional (and entirely arbitrary) basis, before I move on to the next lucky comestible. This is the third entry on apples.]
Did you win the Trail Mix Giveaway? Don’t forget to check here!
And now, our Lucky Comestible Apple series moves on to the soup course of the meal. . .
This soup is an all-time favorite of mine. One taste, and I promise you’ll be a devotee, too. Hey–this soup should have its own fan club! No, this soup should be featured on YouTube! This soup is a souper-star. You will love this soup!
Seriously, if you don’t love this soup, I will eat my hat my words my way through the northeastern states your portion as well as my own! I would marry this soup if I could. I LOVE THIS SOUP THAT MUCH. (sorry, HH–nothing personal).
In fact, I’ve been dreaming about this soup, on and off, for the past 20 years or so. I first encountered its enticing, tart and textured charms almost two decades ago, when I was invited to my former office mate’s home for dinner. Besides being strikingly beautiful (she had worked as a model for a while before teaching) and incredibly hip, Ms. Mate was also the very first vegan I knew personally (as if beauty and cool were not intimidating enough). I couldn’t believe I’d scored an invitation–I mean, Ms. Mate wore Yves St. Laurent jackets–to teach in! And she donned funky wigs, just for fun! She had a voice like Kathleen Turner and looked like Brigitte Nielsen (well, when the latter was still pretty); and I was in awe of her.
I don’t remember the rest of the meal, but that night I was served a standout apple and red wine soup (after the salad, I might add), and was immediately smitten. The slightly tannic base, thick with puréed apple and red as a lover’s blush, was oddly mesmerizing. I begged her to share the recipe.
Once I’d copied it meticulously from her cookbook (the name of which has dissipated forever into the ether of my age-addled memory), I took it home and filed it in my “soups” recipe folder. There it lay, neglected and withering, for months at a time. Whenever a special occasion would arise–a dinner party, say, or the holidays–I’d determine to revive the apple-red wine romance, slide the page from the folder, place it on the counter, and leave it there it lay for a few days, before I sheepishly returned it to its resting place. For one reason or another, I never made it again.
As soon as I decided to run this Lucky Comestible series on apples, however, I knew which soup recipe I’d use. Last week, I strode over to my cookbook shelves and withdrew the “Soups” folder once again. I began to leaf through the recipes. . . then checked again. . . then went through them all, one page at a time. Horrors!–the soup recipe was gone!!
I can’t adequately express the devastation I felt at realizing I’d somehow either lost or misplaced that recipe. I simply couldn’t imagine leaving it out. It’s the perfect “Let’s-try-something-different-this-holiday-season” soup, the perfect “let’s-wow-the-guests” soup, the perfect “I-love-you-be-my-Valentine” soup. Besides, I hadn’t eaten it in 20 years, and the memory of that unique flavor and texture was still compelling. I decided to try to reproduce the soup from the taste memory.
I’m happy to report that the results were stellar. Not only did I fall in love all over again, the HH was besotted, too.
“Hey, this tastes like real food!” he enthused. (I stared blankly.) “You know, like it has butter and cream and maybe even meat in it.” (For the HH, that is a compliment. But no, there’s no taste of meat in it.)
My soup isn’t quite as red as I remember the original being, but the flavor was just as I’d dreamed it. Thick, rich, and full bodied, with a slightly creamy texture that’s nevertheless robust, both warming and filling. The flavor is definitely that of apple, yet savory and slightly piquant at the same time.
I still love this soup, and am thrilled to have had this reunion, two decades later. And now you can fall in love, too. This would be perfect to serve if you’re looking for something a little different this Thanksgiving.
Just don’t forget where you filed the recipe.
Apple and Red Wine Soup
This is a great first course for a festive holiday meal. As such, serve in small bowls or soup mugs–the soup is filling, and you want to leave room for the rest of the meal! This also makes a perfect winter’s lunch with a salad and big hunk of crusty bread.
1 large onion, chopped
4 large crisp apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used MacIntosh and HoneyCrisp)
2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth or stock
2 Tbsp-1/4 cup (30 ml-60 ml) maple syrup, to taste, or 10 drops stevia
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cloves
2 tsp (10 ml) freshly grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (120 ml) drinkable dry red wine (or use unsweetened cranberry juice for ACD-friendly version)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) arrowroot powder
1/2 cup (120 ml) full fat coconut milk, plus more for garnish
Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and apple and sauté until the onion is translucent and the apples begin to give off a bit of liquid, about 10 minutes.
Add the broth, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon zest and lemon juice; lower heat. Cover and simmer until the apples are tender, 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the arrowroot with the coconut milk in a small bowl. Once the apples are tender, add the coconut milk mixture and stir to blend well. Allow to cook for an additional minute, until thickened. Turn off heat.
Pour the mixture in batches into a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the wine, and return to heat until the soup is heated through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired. Makes 4-6 servings. May be frozen.
ACD adjustments: use stevia instead of maple syrup, and unsweetened cranberry juice instead of the red wine. Suitable for Stage 2 and beyond.
Last Year at this Time: Eggplant “Caviar”
Other Posts in this Series:
Lucky Comestible 6(1): Roasted Red Pepper and Apple Dip
Lucky Comestible 6(2): Classic Waldorf Salad
Lucky Comestible 6(4) Potato Terrine with Apples and “Goat Cheese”
Other Apple-Based Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Tofu Omelet with Sautéed Apples and Sweet Curry Sauce
Earth Bowl Breakfast (yikes! Getta loada that photo!)
Other Lucky Comestibles:
- Lucky Comestible 1: Sweet Potato
- Lucky Comestible 2: Quinoa
- Lucky Comestible 3: Avocado
- Lucky Comestible 4: Coconut
- Lucky Comestible 5: Cilantro
© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs