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  October 2008


Apple-Onion Cream Soup

Don't forget that all recipes that appear in this newsletter are available in the Recipe Archive!

      Dear Cooks,

This month's newsletter is, unfortunately, not for the lactose intolerant.

That's because this month, Knopf celebrates the publication of Milk. Part cookbook—with more than 120 enticing recipes—part culinary history, part inquiry into the evolution of an industry, Milk is a one-of-a-kind book that will forever change the way we think about dairy products.

Anne Mendelson takes us on a journey through the lands that traditionally only consumed milk fresh from the cow—what she calls the Northwestern Cow Belt (northern Europe, Great Britain, and North America). She shows us how milk reached such prominence in our diet in the nineteenth century that it led to the current practice of overbreeding cows and overprocessing dairy products. Her lucid explanation of the chemical intricacies of milk and the simple home experiments she encourages us to try are a revelation of how pure milk products should really taste.

In this vein, I'm including a recipe from Milk for Apple-Onion Cream Soup—perfect for staving off the incoming fall chill. And this is a great opportunity for you to take advantage of this year's apple harvest!

Enjoy the soup—unless you're one of the aforementioned lactose intolerant, in which case, I promise to make up for it in next month's recipe reader, which will feature Joël Robuchon's definitive guide to French cooking.

Until then, happy cooking!


Pam Cortland


"I asked the waiter, 'Is this milk fresh?' He said, 'Lady, three hours ago it was grass.'"
—Phyllis Diller

Knopf Hardcover

Order your copy online


4 to 6 thick slices of bacon, coarsely diced

3 to 4 tart, juicy apples, pared, quartered, cored, and coarsely diced

4 tablespoons butter

4 large onions, coarsely diced

3 cups good beef broth, or as needed

6 to 8 whole allspice berries, lightly bruised

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

A dash of lemon juice (optional)

1 teaspoon carraway seeds, lightly bruised (optional)
Apple-Onion Cream Soup

Cream soups are best when they have something more than creaminess going for them. A good cold-weather example is this robust sweet-tart combination of apples—use a good local fall variety in season—and onions with some crisp bacon for counterpoint. It's best when made with a strong, full-flavored beef broth.

  1. Cook the bacon slowly in a heavy skillet to render out all the fat. When it is crisp, scoop it out of the fat and drain on paper towels.

  2. Sauté the diced apples over medium heat in the same skillet, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Scoop out a few spoonfuls of the apples for garnish and set aside.

  3. Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. When it foams and sizzles, add the chopped onions and sauté very patiently over low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are well softened and starting to brown. Scoop out a few spoonfuls for garnish and set aside with the reserved apples.

  4. Add the rest of the apples to the onions, pour in the broth, add the allspice, and simmer until everything is nearly dissolved, 10 to 15 minutes. Fish out and discard the allspice.

  5. Pureé the soup in batches in a blender or food processor, making sure to leave the texture slightly coarse.

  6. Return the soup to the pot, heat to a boil, and stir in the cream. Let it come to a boil again, add the salt and a grinding of pepper, and taste for seasoning; if it seems too bland, squeeze in a little lemon juice. If it is too thick for your taste, thin it with some hot water.

  7. Serve garnished with the reserved bacon, apple, and onion. I like a scattering of carraway seed as well.
YIELD: 8 to 9 cups

Click here to download this recipe as a printable e-card.

Recipe excerpted from MILK by Anne Mendelson. Copyright 2008 by Anne Mendelson. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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