Along the Grapevine

Savoury Apple Juniper Soup


DSC03243.JPGThis has been a great year for apples – so good in fact that I have heard pleas on the radio for people to do the trees a favour and pick the fruit because the branches are breaking from the weight. The fruit may be smaller than usual because of the horrific drought, but they are more numerous and, even better, sweeter than ever.

The problem is what to do with all those apples. Those I can’t use right away I preserve either by making applesauce, and when freezer space runs out I dehydrate the rest. For the applesauce I cut them in half to make sure the insides are not infested or bad, chuck them into a pot of water, seeds, skin, core and all and cook them until soft. Once they are pressed through a food mill they can be frozen. The rest get peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (roughly) and dehydrated, while the cores and peel are used for scrap vinegar.


For my recipe this week I wanted to make a savoury dish so I did a search for soups. I read several tempting recipes from around the world, especially China and Eastern Europe, but either they called for ingredients I didn’t have or they were too sweet and better suited for a dessert. This one was perfect – a spicy Norwegian soup using juniper berries, a local ingredient I had just been collecting and drying and was keen to find a use for.DSC03219.JPG

If you don’t have any in your area, they can also be purchased at a good spice shop.

I altered the recipe somewhat, including using applesauce instead of chopped apples and then pureeing the whole batch. I liked my method because there is still some texture with the onions which I prefer, it being less like baby food. The combination of spices is not too strong, none overpowers the flavour but adds a subtle taste of exotica to the apples.


Savoury Apple Juniper Soup

2 Tbsp oil

1 onion, chopped fine

1 inch ginger

1 Tbsp juniper berries

4 cardamoms

3 allspice berries

1 stick cinnamon

a few sage leaves

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

4 cups unsweetened applesauce (preferably home-made)

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Fry the onion and ginger in the oil until soft. Add the stock and water. Wrap the other spices and herbs in cheesecloth and place in the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove  the spice bag, stir in the applesauce, salt and pepper and heat through.

dsc03241Serve hot garnished with sour cream or apple slices.

Linked to Fiesta Friday #141, Foodie on Board and Food for the Soul.


Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

10 thoughts on “Savoury Apple Juniper Soup

  1. This sounds amazing. I love discovering new and unusual things on your blog, and I adore junipers. I will mark this recipe for later this fall!


  2. Mmmm, I love the thought of a savoury apple soup, Hilda! It is very unusual, but I’m sure it is so delicious ! I often wonder what to do with all of the produce at the end of the summer too, but this sounds like a wonderful use for an overabundance of apples! Maybe try making apple brandy?? 😀


  3. Love you posts of different ways of preserving apples. Your soups looks delicious!


  4. Looks lovely, as always, Hilda. I didn’t even know you could eat Juniper berries. I learn so much when I read your posts!


  5. MMMMMMMMM! What a fabulous tasty soup!!! Waw!


  6. I always look forward to your wonderful recipes Hilda 🙂 Every single time you surprise me with your recipes – thanks for sharing the recipe for this beautiful soup 🙂


  7. Pingback: Spicy Buckwheat Apple Cake with Sea Buckthorn Icing | Along the Grapevine

  8. You took me back to my childhood Hilda. My mom has the exact same colander contraption and I want to inherit it someday. We made applesauce with whole apples and passed it through this to separate the seeds and peel. Love the soup too!


  9. Thanks Johanne. Those food mills are easy to find. I bought a couple at flea markets, and then found the same brand new ones exist in places like Home Hardware for the same price. They really are a bargain at about $20. I use it for so many things at this time of year – probably the most useful kitchen gadget I have apart from my dough scraper, which i think was actually intended for plastering or something.


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