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Savory Apple Soup with Juniper

by Saara

This savory apple soup blew my mind. It was so tasty. Acidic. Full and creamy without any cream. You can make it all vegan by substituting the chicken stock with vegetable stock as I did. I must admit that I almost licked the plate.

The recipe caught my eye a couple of years ago when I was flipping Darra Goldstein’s Fire + Ice. Classic Nordic Cooking (2015) cookbook. Originally from Norway (Eplesuppe med enerbær), I was amazed that I hadn’t really tasted this apple soup when traveling in Norway. So finally after all these years, I decided to make it on my own as I thought it would be an elegant entrée at our crayfish party. And it was!

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Savory Apple soup with Juniper | Recipe

This is the original recipe which is said to serve 4-8 people. At our dinner table, the soup was served as an entrée and half of the recipe served 4 people. I used tart apples from our garden tree but Granny Smith is a good reference. I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Warning: juniper is not suitable for pregnant women.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 points tart apples peeled and chopped
  • 2 small celery stalks chopped
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp juniper berries
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 8 large springs of parsley
  • 1 spring thyme
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

PROCESS

  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot over low heat. Toss the apples, celery, shallots, and ginger root into the pan, then cover and cook gently until they are soft but not brown (8-10 minutes).
  2. In the meanwhile prepare bouquet de Garni. Place the juniper, cardamom, allspice, and cinnamon along with the parsley and thyme, in a piece of cheesecloth and tie it with kitchen twine.
  3. When the apple mixture is softened, pour the chicken stock and cider into the pot. Add the spice and herb bundle and cover the pot. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the spice bundle and discard it. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Pour the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot, pressing down on the solids. Repeat with the remaining soup.
  5. Reheat the soup gently over low heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Fun fact! The juniper I used here is also from our garden so it’s wild juniper. Did you know that the juniper berry is actually a fruit? It takes three years for the fruit to fully develop while it changes color from green to blue and finally almost black.

I use juniper to mix with salt and marinade game with it. Sometimes I flavor drinks and picklings but to be honest I need more juniper recipes. While this apple soup is a keeper, it’s also a start to explore more. How do you use juniper?

Find cookbook Fire + Ice. Classic Nordic Cooking by Darra Goldstein via this link* or check your nearest bookstore/library. It’s a beautiful cookbook and full of wonderful recipes & Nordic flavors.

I’m also very curious about her newest cookbook focusing on Russian food, please check the Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore by Darra Goldstein* if you started salivating already too!

Love, Saara

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