Most folks playing a word association game won’t come back with the word apple as a response to the word soup, but maybe they should. Apples belong in pies, in lunch boxes, and chopped into fruit salad, but they also make a fine base for gently sweet, cold-weather soup. Apple soup is something of a misnomer because the apple partners with another hearty vegetable such as squash or potatoes in most recipes. Variations in the soup pot might include sweet potatoes, carrots, or tomatoes, as well as seafood or meat.
An easy, creamy apple soup marries apple with squash and simmers in chicken or vegetable broth together with a splash of apple juice, onion, and thyme. Once cooked, the veggies hop into the blender for a spin. A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives makes the soup sing.
Another version of creamy apple soup substitutes pumpkin for squash and adds maple syrup and heavy cream. This one isn’t low calorie, but it’s oh so good. To change up the flavor, the clever cook needs only to add a little curry powder or paste and perhaps some minced ginger.
Cooks in a hurry can skip peeling and seeding the apples and grab a can or two of apple pie filling instead. This sweet version of apple soup can be served before the meal, but it’s easy enough to convince kids it’s really a dessert. As it contains carrots, onion, and celery, it’s a clever way to sneak in a little extra nutrition that the little ones won’t even notice.
Dieters appreciate a chipotle apple soup made with sweet potato, ginger, and onion. Using chicken stock is an option, but vegetable stock works as well. The addition of canned chipotle in adobo sauce adds subtle heat and deepens the flavor.
Making soup the color of a sunset is a cinch by adding roasted red peppers and tomatoes to a base of apple cider and heavy cream. Onions and garlic ground the taste, and a little white wine adds a top note. Once everything has cooked to the point of softness, it’s time to blend it with a dab of sambal chili paste and a little stone-ground mustard.
Hungarian apple soup will convince company the cook is a true genius. Yukon Gold potatoes, sage, and hot Hungarian paprika in addition to peeled or unpeeled, tart, cooking apples and chicken broth are all this soup requires. After creaming it in the blender, it’s best served with sour cream. To dress it up, cooks nestle crabmeat or a couple of shrimp on top of the sour cream.