Its very hard to get Thanksgiving-y in LA when it looks like August outside. Nature, in her recent whackedness, has been randomly eliminating the few seasonal changes we are supposed to have here. LA is just all hot and fire-scorched, relentlessly sunny. For those of us who are used to a Thanksgiving that is cold and smells like wet leaves, it just doesn’t feel right.
I just went to NYC where I saw turkey-shaped cookies at E.A.T. and it was fifty degrees and rainy for two days (just SO November). Everyone kept complaining about the weather except me. I was all chirpy: “I am SO happy to see rain! To wear a scarf!” I’d say, alienating all the damp New Yorkers within hearing distance.
I went back to LA determined that, while nature continues to work out her issues, I’m cooking autumnal food anyway, in an (irritable) attempt to act like we are having a proper autumn. Hence this Apple Celery Soup. Eat this soup and, even if you live in the town of the endless summer, it might make you feel Thanksgiving-y.
2 tablespoons butter
½ large onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch ground cloves
1 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 stalks)
1 ½ cups peeled, chopped Fuji apple (1 ½-2 apples)
2 cups chicken broth
¼ cup crème fraiche (optional)
In a soup pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion, the herbs, salt and pepper and cloves and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
Add the celery, stir and cook five minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the apples and cook, stirring, for two minutes, then add the broth. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the apple and celery are tender, 15-20 minutes or so. Puree the soup in batches and serve with a spoonful of crème fraiche if you like.
If you lie in LA, close the shades, put on gloves and a scarf to enhance the illusion that it is a day when such a soup is appropriate.