We are full into soup season. I’m wearing oversized sweaters, drinking a plethora of hot beverages, and cuddling up with blankets while ignoring the sink full of dishes. It is definitely time for some edible coziness. Hmm, is that weird? Probably, but let’s go with it!
This soup encompasses the delicate flavors of the harvest season. Our soup situation begins with apples. Hello pretty.
I chose several specimens of the Jonagold variety, but honestly, any sweet, baking apple will serve you just fine. It is soup - don’t overcomplicate it.
Fennel achieves a sort of complex sweetness when it is roasted. It is an entirely different fennel than you have met in your spaghetti sauce. I am pretty sure everything gets 200% more attractive after it has been roasted - by everything I mean vegetables.
Shallots and white wine join our charming duo and a heavy dose of salt is sprinkled. After the wine has cooked for a bit we add chicken broth and simmer until our apples are nice and soft and the fennel is fork tender.
This bisque becomes creamy and smooth by way of the blender. If you do not have a blender, an immersion stick blender can be used, but it makes for a courser texture.
Lastly, milk and butter come in to make everything silky smooth.
Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some fennel fronds, if you so desire. Pair this soup with an oversized sweater and a crackling fire. The end.
Happy soup season!
Apple and Fennel Bisque
- 2 large Jonagold apples, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
- 2 fennel bulbs, washed and cubed with fronds removed
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems, and stems discarded
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl toss to combine cubed fennel with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Spread the fennel out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 15-20 or until the fennel has softened.
While the fennel is roasting, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in the bottom of a heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add shallots and remaining kosher salt. Cook until the shallots have become translucent, then add thyme and apples. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add white wine and fennel. Cook for another 4 minutes to allow the wine to cook down slightly, then add chicken broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the apples and fennel are fork tender.
Remove the soup from heat and transfer to a blender. Blend until the soup is smooth and puréed, then return to saucepan. Stir in milk and butter.
To serve: drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and chopped fennel fronds. Enjoy!