I was never really a big fan of soup until I started making it from scratch. The canned soup was OK when when I was sick or just wanted something I could prepare quickly, but I never truly savored the taste. Honestly, the best thing about Campbells is this cute commercial that airs at Christmas.
But since I’ve been learning more about real food, and how many benefits there are in homemade broth, I’ve worked on learning how to make soup from scratch. It’s taken some practice, but I can now make soup that is actually tasty. Soup that I look forward to eating and that puts the canned variety to shame. A homemade soup is part of my meal plan every couple weeks now, especially in the cooler weather. I love the variety of recipes out there and the freedom to experiment. Once you get used to making a few tried and true recipes, it’s quite easy to start branching out and creating your own unique soups.
This carrot apple soup is one of my favorites. It’s based on this recipe from the Back to Her Roots blog. I changed the spices to fit our preferences and traded the veggie stock for my homemade chicken broth. I use local produce when I can; my favorite combination so far is multi-colored carrots and sweet Jonathan apples. The result is a creamy, balanced flavor that smells amazing while it simmers and tastes like the best of fall in a bowl. It’s warm and hearty, perfect paired with a sandwich for a winter dinner, but not too heavy for lunch on a warm autumn day. If you’re looking for a yummy soup, I hope you’ll enjoy this one!
Creamy Carrot & Apple Soup (adapted from Back to Her Roots)
Yield: 2-3 servings
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Small pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 small/medium apples (Jonathan, Gala, or your favorite), peeled, cored and chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp. dried herbs de Provence
- 1 dried Turkish bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken broth (homemade if possible)
- 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
- Heavy cream to garnish, optional
In a large saucepan, or stockpot, melt the butter and add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and onion. Saute for a few minutes, until fragrant.
Add the carrots and apples and cook, stirring frequently, until the everything begins to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the broth, seasonings, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Keep the lid slightly askew so some steam can escape, and stir occasionally.
Once the apples and carrots are tender, remove the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the milk and return to medium-low heat to warm through.
Serve hot with desired sides. I love garnishing each bowl with a drizzle of heavy cream.