Roasted Apple and Sweet Onion Soup with Zucchini/Sweet Potato Loaf

We're planning on going apple picking over the Thanksgiving weekend so we've been thinking about all our fave apple recipes to make over the next little while. And then I came upon this recipe and liked the idea of the fruit being the main taste, rather than the veggies, for a change. Although it called for roasting the apples, you can basically just cook them in a pot on the stovetop and you'll be good to go; if you want to go an extra step and pop them in the oven with the onions to roast further after the initial browning, that'd work too and probably add some added depth of flavour. Regardless, this soup was fairly light but delicious and gobbled up quickly by all of us.
But the real hit of the meal was the zucchini sweet potato quick bread that I whipped up as well. Total yum, studded with chewy dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts, and moist and savoury/sweet throughout. Immediate requests for it in lunch bags the next day so that's the highest compliment, and even beats out our family's all-time favourite date-nut loaf, which we've all been eating forever.

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into thick chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
few sprigs of thyme
1-2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup milk or cream
1 cup old cheddar

Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the apples, onion and sugar, and cook over medium heat, gently stirring until the apples are soft but not mushy. Add the stock and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and, using a handheld blender, puree the ingredients. Return to the stove and add the milk or cream until you have the consistency you want. Add the cheese and allow to melt into the soup. Season to taste.

Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread

makes one (overflowing!) loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cup peeled and grated sweet potato
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan and set aside. Sift the first seven ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar, oil eggs and vanilla. Mix in the zucchini and sweet potato. Add the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Fold in the nuts and cranberries and stir well.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cook break in pan on rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a butter knife and turn out on a rack to cool completely. Can be prepared one day in advance. Wrap in foil and keep at room temperature.

Rest of the week

Oct 2 Dinner at Amaya

Oct 3 Apple/sweet onion soup with zucchini bread