I found myself at the end of last week with four apples that were quickly tiring and no desire to make applesauce. I also didn’t want to make an apple dessert because 1) there are only 3 of us in the house and 2) there is only 1 of the 3 of us who would eat that dessert (yours truly) and I don’t even really like apple desserts. Well, I love apple crumble, but that’s mostly because I love the crumble – the fruit filling is just extra.
I went on the search for non-dessert apple recipes and found some interesting ones. I found two intriguing soup recipes – French Onion and Apple Soup and Apple and Parsnip Soup – as well as a recipe for Waldorf Salad.
I didn’t have most of the ingredients for Waldorf Salad so essentially used the dressing (mayo and lemon juice) and tossed it with an apple, some cold chicken, and some toasted walnuts. It was quick to pull together for lunch and was delicious. I had some left over and ate it two days later and it was just as good.
I spent Saturday making the two soups and they were both divine. I’d forgotten how time intensive French Onion Soup is but it is so worth it. The apple and apple juice in the soup bring just a hint of sweetness that adds to the soup but doesn’t take away from it’s French Oniony-ness.
The Apple and Parsnip soup was super easy and quick and actually tastes very much of the curry flavor that is added. The crème fraîche that the recipe calls for to top off the soup is a requirement – adding a touch of sour to compliment the curry and sweet apples.
In both soup recipes, I used apple juice instead of apple cider as the original recipes call ed for. I’m not a big apple cider fan and decided that if I was going to have apple something left in the house, it should be something I would drink. I like apple juice, so, I used apple juice. I can’t say I think it made a huge difference in the soups, but perhaps with the cider the soup would have been slightly less sweet. Regardless, I think apple juice worked just fine.
So, here are the three apple recipes I worked with to use up my lovely York apples from last week.
Chicken Salad with Apples and Walnuts (adapted from Waldorf Salad)
1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
1 York apple
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
3 TB mayonnaise
2 TB lemon juice
Salt (to taste)
Yield: 2 servings
TKT: 5 minutes
Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice in small bowl. Mixture should be the consistency of creamy salad dressing.
Combine all other ingredients and toss with dressing. Serve over lettuce or on in a tortilla.
French Onion Soup with Apples (adapted from French Onion and Apple Soup)
1.5 TB unsalted butter
7 cups yellow onion, sliced
1 York apple, peeled, quartered, and cut into julienne strips
3 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup dry sherry
Salt (to taste)
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
5 slices sourdough bread
1 cup grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese
Yield: 5 servings
TKT: 3 hours
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Turn heat to low and continue cooking onion for 75 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Add salt, apple, and thyme sprigs; cook 3 minutes or until apples soften.
Add wine; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
Add broth and apple juice; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.
Stir in vinegar.
Toast sourdough bread either in oven or in toaster and cut into chunks.
There are 2 ways to finish off the soup:
Oven: Preheat oven to 500°. Ladle 1 cup soup into ovenproof soup bowls. Divide the croutons evenly among bowls, and top each serving with about 3 tablespoons cheese. Place bowls on baking sheet to prevent spill-over into oven. Bake at 500° for 8 minutes or until cheese melts.
Microwave: Place soup in microwave safe bowl. Top with bread chunks and cheese. Cook in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the cheese melts.
Apple and Parsnip Soup (adapted from Apple-Parsnip Soup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 York apples, chopped and peeled (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 3 1/2 cups)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup apple juice
Salt and pepper to taste
8 teaspoons crème fraîche
Yield: 8 servings (approx. 8 cups of soup)
TKT: 1 hour
Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
Add apples, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add parsnips, chicken broth, salt and pepper, and apple juice; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until parsnips are tender.
Let cool (about 10 minutes). Using an immersion blender (or regular blender) puree the soup until creamy.
Serve soup hot with a teaspoon (or dollop) of crème fraîche.