2 apples, peeled, cored and diced, plus 1/2 an apple sliced into thin wedges
2 celery stalks, chopped in to 1/4 inch slices
1 small-medium onion, diced
1 leek (minus the tough greens), sliced thinly
5 small potatoes, peeled, and diced
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
crème fraîche or sour cream
1. In a large saute pan combine leek, onion, apple, celery and olive oil over medium-low heat until tender, probably 15 minutes or so.
2. In a large soup pot combine milk and potatoes. Bring to a slow boil, careful to not scorch the milk and cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
3. While the potatoes are cooking add chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme to the apple mixture and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaf and combine all ingredients in the large soup pot and use a Cuisinart Hand Blender to blend all the ingredients until smooth. You could also blend the soup in batches in your blender or food processor. Our Oster Blender does an awesome job with soups, but clean up is so much quicker with the Cuisinart, so inevitably the Cuisinart Hand Blender has been getting way more action lately.
5. You might need to add a little more chicken broth or milk to achieve desired consistency ours was pretty thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream, a couple of apple slices and a sprinkling of thyme.
We served ours with baked brie, a whole wheat baguette and a dried cranberry, feta and candied pumpkin seed salad.