Savory Harvest Apple Soup w/Pumpkin Spice Croutons – 2015 Grand Prize Winner

Savory Harvest Apple Soup w/Pumpkin Spice Croutons
By Brian Avino

6 Gala apples, peeled/cored/cubed (can substitute w/ apple of choice/ market availability)
2 potatoes,peeled/cubed
1 onion, peeled/diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter (can substitute w/ Canola oil)
1/4 cup flour
40 oz. chicken broth (can substitute vegetable broth)
1 package Al Fresco Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage (Pre-cooked or raw)
2 cups of light Cream or 1/2 + 1/2 (can substitute heavy cream or whole or low fat milk)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp kosher Salt
1 tsp black Pepper
1 baguette/French bread cubed
Canola oil to coat bread cubes (can substitute melted unsalted butter)
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste (can substitute a mix of cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/ground cloves spices)

Sauté onion in butter until soft. Add apple and potato and sauté for another minute or two. Stir in flour. Add broth a cup at a time and stir until flour is blended in well. Turn heat to high and stir constantly until thick. Lower heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook soft and tender. Puree with handheld blender stick or blend in small batches. Cook sausage per package instructions, cut into cubes or discs, add to soup. Add cinnamon + nutmeg and 1/2 + 1/2 and stir until well blended.

For Croutons:
Coat bread cubes w / canola oil until well coated. Add Pumpkin Pie spice to taste. Put parchment paper on a flat cooking sheet/cookie tin and bake at 400 degrees to desired crunchiness.

Salt + Pepper to taste if desired and top w/ Pumpkin Spice Croutons.

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