Apples–they are so much more than a dessert fruit. Crisp, tart varieties add depth to savory dishes, especially when paired with seasonal vegetables. Empire apples are one of my favorite of the traditional varieties. They’re tart with a complex flavor, including a hint of sweetness so that they can carry robust dishes like this creamy apple & fennel soup.

Cream of Apple and Fennel Soup

Empires got their start in Upstate New York right after World War II, when a Cornell nutritionist, Lester C Anderson, bred the first Empire in his orchard, crossing Macintosh and Red Delicious. It took another 20 years for the modern Empire apple to be perfected through selective pollination, producing an apple that is tough, stores for months, and tastes delicious. This soup is the perfect showcase for what is still one of the most popular apples available today.

Rich, slightly sweet coconut cream takes the place of dairy, making this recipe vegan and allergy-friendly.

Cream of Apple & Fennel Soup

5 tart apples (we used Empire)

2 medium fennel bulbs

1 medium onion

1/4 cup olive oil

3 quarts vegetable stock

1 can coconut cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop all vegetables. In a large stock pot, sautee onions until glassy. Add apples and fennel and sautée until fennel begins to look translucent. Add vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce to simmer once soup has boiled. Simmer for 30 minutes or until fennel is tender and apples have fallen apart. Add coconut cream and stir thoroughly. Adjust salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with slices of apple and, if desired, fennel leaves, and serve in our stylish Ciras bowls. Serves 4-6.

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for 6 servings)

Per serving: Calories: 366; Total Fat: 24g; Saturated Fat: 14g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1163mg; Potassium: 512mg; Total Carbohydrates: 37g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugars: 27g; Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 37%; Vitamin C: 29%; Calcium: 5%; Iron: 8%

Table runner designed by Sharon Makos using Marcus Fabrics.

Ciras Bowl Ciras Black