Tuesday, October 4, 2011

fall fest week 1? how about roasted apple and caramelized onion soup?

so, it is raining in napa, my family is suffering from bad colds/allergies and today is the deadline for the first fall fest roundup featuring apples....doesn't it sound like the perfect day for roasted apple & caramelized onion soup. 

regular readers are very familiar with summerfest...a season long celebration of perfectly ripe summer fruit and vegetables.  sadly, summer is over but...not to worry...we begin fall fest, a three month celebration of fall and winter produce. the schedule is as follows:
5: Apples
12: Spinach
19: Potatoes
26: Pumpkins

2: Cauliflower
9: Turnips
16: Carrots
23: Thanksgiving Special
30: Beets

7: Winter Squash
14: Broccoli

i am so happy we are starting with apples.  while they are available year round, i think they taste best in fall.  and the image of biting into a  fresh, crunchy apple on a crisp fall day...magical.  apple pie? crisp? caramel apples? how fall can you get?  today, i feel like soup...there is just something about hot soup when i am congested with a cold that makes me feel better.  so imagine roasted apples as the main ingredient in a fall soup?  this recipe is really easy, amazingly delicious and impressive enough for entertaining...but fast enough (under an hr) for a weeknight supper.  trust me, you will make this often.  what are your favorite apples recipes?

the following soup is my vegetarian version of a classic french onion soup. the roasted apples provide a hint of sweetness, the caramelized onions are rich and buttery and..what can you say about the melted cheese/bread topping but delicious? i use a vegetable stock in place of beef stock, but the butter, olive oil, sherry and other ingredients give the soup amazing flavor and keep it vegetarian. this is one of my favorite soups either as a starter or as the main course for dinner.

roasted apple & caramelized onion au gratin soup

2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 golden delicious apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1 large yellow onion (peeled, cut in half, and then thinly sliced)
2 cups organic vegetable stock (if homemade is not available, i recommend the imagine brand of organic stocks)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry sherry (i use a light manzanilla from spain)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 sourdough baguette, thickly sliced
extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
3/4 cup swiss cheese, shredded

preheat oven to 375 degrees. place 1 tbsp butter in small roasting pan and place in oven until butter melts. add apples and 1 tbsp olive oil and stir to ensure apples are coated in the butter/olive oil mixture. roast in oven until apples are lightly browned and very tender.(15-20 minutes). while apples are roasting, melt remaining tbsp butter in medium stockpot. add 2 tbsp olive oil and onions and stir to ensure onions are thoroughly coated. cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are browned and caramelized..about 15 minutes. add apples, stock, water, salt and pepper to stockpot and bring to a boil. lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. add sherry and cook another 10 minutes.

while soup is simmering, toast bread in oven until lightly browned..remove from oven and let cool. set oven to broil

assembly.. fill 4 heat proof/oven proof bowls 3/4 full. place a slice (or slices, depending on how large the pieces are) on top of soup and drizzle with olive oil. sprinkle with cheese to cover soup and place bowls on a cookie sheet. place in oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling..and slightly browned. watch carefully and do not let cheese burn. serve immediately.

now it is your turn to participate in fall fest. simply leave your apple tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below, and then go visit food network and do the same same. join the conversation on twitter at #cookingwith and be sure to check out these delicious sounding recipes from the other participating bloggers:
CIA Dropout: Apple-Roasted Duck
Cooking Channel: Add Apples to Your Salad
The Cultural Dish: Apple Cider Martini
And Love It Too: Fried Apples (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Vegan)
From My Corner of Saratoga: Easy Skillet Apple Pie (A Southern Living Recipe Reviewed)
Haute Apple Pie: Baked Apple Pancake
Virtually Vegan Mama: Slow Cooker Apple Date Butter
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Apple Pancakes
What's Gaby Cooking: Apple Cake
FN Dish: Savory Apple Recipes
The Sensitive Epicure: Pan Fried Apple Rings (Gluten-Free)
Glory Foods: Caramel Apple Upside Down Cupcakes
Daily*Dishin: Apple, Bacon, Feta Salad With Maple Vinaigrette
Dishin & Dishes: Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
Cooking With Elise: Wholegrain Apple Oat Pancakes


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style™ "

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Denise said...

These recipes all sound really good. I usually just make apple pie, but your soup sounds wonderful.

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks denise!

Elyse @The Cultural Dish said...

Such a great recipe for fall fest! Looking forward to the rest!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks elyse! i am looking forward to each week of fall fest too!