Apple-Fennel Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts Recipe
Recipe from Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook
Servings: Serves 4–5
  • 3 Granny Smith apples , cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fennel (fronds reserved for garnish)
  • 2 large shallots , chopped, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 sprigs thyme , leaves only
  • 3 sprigs sage , leaves only
  • 3 leaves fresh mint
  • 5 dried figs , chopped
  • 1/4 small baguette , cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese , crumbled
Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, sweat the apples, fennel, shallots and garlic, reserving a few tablespoons of the apples. When the vegetables are softened, add the wine and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, reduce heat to low and cook to reduce liquid by half. Add the cream and herbs and simmer until bubbles form on the surface. Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.

Meanwhile, place baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread each toast with a bit of blue cheese, and top with a few slices of fig.

To serve, fill soup bowl three-fourths full. Float several toasts in the soup and sprinkle with reserved chopped apple and chopped fennel fronds.

Recipes from Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook © 2008 By Bravo Media, Chronicle Books.