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I’m a big fan of the philosophy that what grows together goes together. When I get my monthly CSA basket, I’m confident that it will provide many winning flavor combinations. This month’s basket included apples and shiitake mushrooms. I’ve been experimenting lately with fruit in savory recipes and decided on a fall soup. A quick trip to the garden yielded sage, a nice match for the earthy mushrooms and crisp apples. There was bacon in the basket  which would be great crumbled on top of this dish, but I have other ideas for that smokey goodness. The second simmering and the breadcrumbs weren’t planned, but the soup was a little to thin after pureeing. This soup was good, and I expect it will improve after a night in the fridge. I’d love your ideas on making it even better.

Shiitake, Apple & Sage Soup

2 tsp butter
1/4 cup julienned shiitake mushrooms
1 medium apple, cored and diced (I used an Arkansas Black)
1 tsp chopped sage leaves, plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 cups light or diluted chicken stock
1/4 -1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

In small sauce pan, saute mushrooms for a minute or two over medium-low heat. Add apples and continue to cook until they start to soften, three to four minutes. Mix in the sage. Add stock and increase the heat to medium-high. Season with salt and pepper. Once soup starts to simmer, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Set aside about a quarter of the soup and puree the remaining portion. Recombine portions and return to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in enough bread crumbs to achieve desired thickness. Adjust seasoning. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh sage.