There are some things that are sacred in the kitchen. “Thou shalt not mix fruit with savoury dishes” is one such axiom. And yet when I found myself with a glut of apples that were about to go bad all at once, I knew that rules were meant to be broken. I generally don’t like sweet savoury dishes (whoever thought of pineapple on pizza should be given a harsh reprimand) so with this conundrum I went looking for the most overpowering flavour I could think of. Enter the onion. As background: I generally don’t like onions either, much preferring garlic. When a recipe calls for “1 medium onion” I translate that to “half of the smallest one you could possibly buy”. So when this Onion and Apple Soup with Apple Sesame Ginger Chutney recipe flipped past when I was looking through my Millennium cookbook, I knew that this was a personal challenge. Make it or else.
This soup is the reason I love daring myself to try new things in the kitchen. The caramelized onions add a bold flavour that isn’t too ‘onion-y’ and pairs nicely with the apples. The apples themselves lend a subtle flavour to the dish, and when cooked with the onions and red wine it’s more of an apple cider vinegar flavour than an apple-pie flavour. Wild rice was also a new discovery for me, and I am a convert! It is much chewier than normal rice, and doesn’t get lost among the onions and apples. The thyme and tarragon round the bowl off, adding that extra something to the bowl that immediately transports you to the southern regions of France. The chutney is a simple apple salad made with (you guessed it) apples, sesame seeds, ginger, and scallions. A light and refreshing condiment, it added a subtle Asian twist to your otherwise Rivera-inspired bowl. I was almost more surprised that I loved this soup so much than I was that I’d actually entertain making it!
The recipe is another winner by Eric Tucker in his cookbook Millennium, found on page 62. Unfortunately, I cannot find a Google-Book preview of the recipe, but its well worth the library trip!
So challenge those dear kitchen rules. Throw the rule book out the window and make something completely out-of-the ordinary and completely delicious – like this soup!