Fall is in the air!
I know it’s a cliché, but I really do love that subtle change of seasons when the mornings become more crisp, the smell in the air changes, and I start to dream of spicy fall soups.
In the Chinese Five Phase system we are in the time of late summer or the harvest. As you walk through farmers markets (or perhaps your own garden) during the month of September, there is no doubt of the abundance of this time of year.
I love farmers markets! Meeting the people who grow our food and seeing all those vegetables stacked so beautifully makes me want to buy one of everything.
While I was in Port Townsend earlier this month, I decided to challenge myself to create a soup made almost entirely of things I was able to buy at the farmers market. I went to a Wednesday market that is smaller than the big Saturday affair and was even able to buy something from every farmer’s stand.
This apple soup turned out so well, I knew I had to share it with you all. Before we get to the recipe, here’s a look at our warming, tart, fungal, and vegetable ingredients.
When I was younger the choices of apples at the market were mealy versions of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and tart Granny Smiths. Now that I live in Washington State, the wide number of varieties is astounding! As autumn rushes in, the farmers markets, street corners, and grocery stores are filled with many different kinds of apples.
Apples are filled with antioxidants, have been shown to strongly support heart health, and may even positively affect the healthy microbiome of your gut.1
For this apple soup recipe I recommend finding tart crisp apples. They give this rich soup a slightly tart and sweet flavor that compliments the curry and mushrooms.
Ginger, Garlic, Onions, and Curry Spices
This warming coconut curry soup is filled with spices that are known to support your immune system and keep colds and influenza away.
Let’s take garlic as an example. Garlic has been used against infections for thousands of years. It was used during the 1600s against the plague in Europe and during the 20th century, it was used to prevent gangrene in soldiers during World War I.
In more recent times, studies have shown that garlic increases the natural killer cells of the immune system, reduces inflammatory cytokines, and can decrease specific pathogens such as bacterial cells like Streptococcus and fungi such as Candida albicans. 2,3,4,5,6
Shiitake mushrooms give a delicious earthy taste to this meal. They have long been used as a building and nourishing tonic and have received a lot of attention for their ability to support the immune system and improve cardiovascular health.
Researchers in Florida have shown that a shiitake mushroom a day can “keep the doctor away.” In this study participants were given one shiitake mushroom a day to eat for a month. After a month they showed improvements in numerous immune system markers.7
If you don’t have access to fresh shiitake mushrooms, you can substitute dried instead.
Potatoes often get a bad rap. Either they are seen as a boring or, in recent years, an evil carbohydrate. Many people only consume potatoes that have been deep fried in oil. But whole organic potatoes offer a nourishing meal filled with important nutrients like potassium and B6.
I used Yellow Finn potatoes in this coconut curry soup and loved how their yellow golden texture gave this soup a silky smooth texture.
So let’s see how all of these flavors come together!
Coconut Curry Soup with Apples
This spicy and creamy coconut curry soup is the perfect way to enjoy the tastes of fall and support your immune system at the same time. The tart apples are mellowed with the richness of the potatoes and shiitakes while the spices give this soup a little kick.
You can buy already made curry powders or blend one yourself as seen here.
Because so many nutrients are found in the skins of potatoes and apples, I did not peel them.
What you’ll need…
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 2 small apples, cubed into small pieces (I like the more tart apples like McIntosh)
- 2 medium potatoes, cubed into small pieces (I like Yellow Finn potatoes)
- 1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste (I added about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 handfuls fresh shiitakes, cut into quarters (If using dry shiitakes, rehydrate the mushrooms in hot water and then cut to size)
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Begin by melting the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
- Add the minced onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add the garlic, fresh ginger, curry powder, and freshly ground pepper. Stir for one minute or until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the apples, potatoes, broth, and coconut milk. The liquids should just cover the potatoes and apples.
- Bring it to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, purée the soup until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pan and add the shiitakes.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until shiitakes are cooked. Stir frequently.
- Add salt and pepper as desired. Optional parsley for garnish.
Yield: Makes four large servings