Make Ahead

Apple and Fennel Soup

Author Notes

This is an Indian summer soup, a soup for the liminal season. Tart, crisp apples like Honeycrisp, Gravenstein, or Granny Smith are paramount. Equally good hot or cold, it's a smooth mélange of tart, crisp apples; celery stalks, leaves and all; anise-scented fennel, and all of it finished with a bunch of watercress, a fistful of fresh herbs, and a glug of heavy cream. It's all at once fresh and earthy, bright and comforting: the perfect soup for the transition from summer to fall. —Beth Kirby | {local milk}

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large bulb fennel, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 large or 3 small tart, crisp apples such as Honeycrisp, Gravenstein, or Granny Smith, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces, leaves and all
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup watercress
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
In This Recipe
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in an 8-quart saucepan.
  2. Add shallot and garlic and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add fennel, apple, celery, lemon, honey (or sugar), salt, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until everything is very tender and cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat and toss in the greens and herbs. Purée the soup in two batches. At this point you can either simply return it to the pot or pass it through a mesh sieve for a more refined texture. I prefer the sieve, but it's up to you.
  6. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve garnished with chopped mint, fennel, and thyme.

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A Southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera. Freelance food writer & photographer. Blogs at