Embrace the Season with Chilled Autumn Apple Soup
As autumn paints the world in vibrant hues and wraps me in cozy sweaters, my taste buds eagerly await the arrival of seasonal flavors. It's the time when my kitchen becomes a canvas for fall-inspired culinary deliciousness. The Chilled Autumn Apple Soup, a tantalizing blend of sweet and tart, is the perfect way to embrace the season.
A Quest for the Perfect Apple: Opal Apples Shine Bright
Before I dive into this delightful soup, let me share a little secret. I embarked on a quest to find the perfect apples for this recipe. The original recipe called for sweet and crisp Golden Delicious apples, but my local markets had other plans. Weeks passed, and the sought-after Golden Delicious remained elusive.
Just as I was about to give up, a chance discovery led me to Opal Apples. Their golden exterior and the promise of a unique flavor piqued my curiosity. With enthusiasm, I decided to give them a try, and to my delight, they proved to be the perfect substitute!
Crafting the Chilled Autumn Apple Soup
Opal Apples, with their alluring golden skin and a flavor profile that balances subtle tartness with natural sweetness, harmonized beautifully with the cinnamon and ginger in the recipe. Now if you can't find Opal or Golden Delicious, there's plenty of other substitutes and I mention those below.
Here we go!
- 4 Golden Delicious or Opal Apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 8 ounces dry white wine
- 12-14 ounces apple juice
- 6 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
Step 1: Infuse the Flavors
In a medium size saucepan combine apples, wine, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and bring to low simmer. Cover with lid. Continue to simmer until apples are completely fork tender, about 20-25 minutes. Be sure to work on a lower heat so as to preserve the liquid in the pot.
Step 2: Cool and Prepare
Remove from heat and cool on stovetop for about 45 minutes. Mixture should be cool.
Here's a look at the fully cooked apples in their cooking liquid.
Step 3: Blend to Perfection
In a blender (with loose lid), puree the cooked apples along with all the cooking liquid until the mixture is extremely smooth and free of lumps.
Next, using a whisk, hand whisk in the sour cream and heavy whipping cream. Only whisk lightly for about 20 seconds. Do not over process the soup. Finally, add a small splash of lemon juice and a hearty pinch of salt to taste. The soup should NOT be salty, but you want enough salt to make the flavor irresistible. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add another splash of apple juice but only enough to adjust the viscosity to your preference. I prefer it to lean a touch thicker! Chill the apple soup ice-cold and it's soon ready to enjoy.
Step 4: Creamy Indulgence
Now, what makes this soup POP, is the salt! Trust me. You want to season it just like you put salt in chocolate chip cookies! It's to drive flavor! So season, season season!
Apple Varieties to Explore
If, like me, you struggle to find Golden Delicious or Opal Apples in your local markets, don't fret. There's a world of apple varieties out there, each offering a unique twist to your culinary creations. Here are some sweet apple varieties you might consider as delightful alternatives:
Honeycrisp: These apples are known for their sweet, juicy, and crisp texture, making them a great choice for this soup.
Fuji: With their natural sweetness and a satisfying crunch, Fuji apples can add a delightful twist to the recipe.
Braeburn: These apples offer a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors, along with a firm texture.
Cripps Pink (Pink Lady): Known for their sweetness and vibrant pink skin, Pink Lady apples can infuse your soup with a unique flavor.
The Apple: A Fruit of Remarkable History
Apples are more than just a delicious ingredient; they hold a remarkable place in history. They are often linked to ancient myths and legends, including the story of the Trojan War's famous "apple of discord." Apples are also believed to be one of the earliest cultivated fruits, with evidence of their consumption dating back thousands of years.
Apple Diversity: A World of Flavor
Did you know that there are over 7,000 varieties of apples grown worldwide? These remarkable fruits come in a stunning array of colors, flavors, and textures, making them a true marvel of nature. Whether you prefer the sweet, juicy bite of a Honeycrisp or the tart zing of a Granny Smith, there's an apple variety to suit every palate.
As delightful as my Chilled Autumn Apple Soup is on its own, it can be even more amazing when paired with the right accompaniments. I topped mine with chopped pecans, walnuts and dried cranberries.
Here's some more serving suggestions to elevate the experience:
Grilled Cheese Delight: There's something undeniably comforting about a grilled cheese sandwich. To complement the flavors of the soup, try a crispy grilled cheese with sharp cheddar or aged white cheddar on sourdough. The combination of creamy soup and a warm, melty sandwich is pure autumn bliss.
Breakfast Bliss: Who says soup is just for lunch or dinner? I like to start my day with a twist by pairing this soup with Greek yogurt and crunchy homemade granola. The sweet and tart notes of the soup add a burst of flavor to my morning routine.
Dessert Elegance: For a sweet ending to my meal, I often serve the Chilled Autumn Apple Soup as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast of chilled soup and creamy ice cream is a delightful way to satisfy my sweet tooth.
It's seasonal deliciousness and I hope you enjoy this something totally different as much as I do!