A nourishing soup of endive with surprise accents of apple and blue cheese.

endive and apple soup


One of the best things about eating out is being inspired by some dish I’ve tried. I find myself in bed that night starting to create my own riff, ideas ricocheting like popcorn inside my head as I toy with flavor combinations and preparation methods; all the while intermittently glancing at the clock, aware that I really do need to get to sleep.

I’ve had this soup knocking around in my head for awhile now. It started with a visit last fall to California Vegetable Specialties where most of the endive eaten in this country is grown. I learned about the unusual method of growing endive, which I’ve written about, including a peek into a growing room with endive trays stacked at least 50 feet high.  All this was followed by a multi-course endive-centric lunch. The entire meal was terrific, but as a soup person, I really fell for the endive soup; and ever since, have had endive soup on the brain.

endive soup

I’ve made this soup a few times, never the same way twice. God forbid. But this latest version may be the one I stick with from here out; it’s that good. And surprising too, with its hints of apple and blue cheese, which are perfectly in balance with the endive.

A Few Cooking Notes:

Because of the way that endive is grown, it is never necessary to wash it before preparation or eating.

This soup can be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon, but it does add a certain depth to the flavors.


Endive and Apple Soup

     by Susan Pridmore


  • 3 slices bacon sliced into thin lardons
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 heads of endive, thinly sliced horizontally (about 3 cups)
  • 4 leeks, thinly sliced horizontally (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 apples, cored, and chopped
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt, to taste
  • ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons blue cheese, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • fresh thyme for garnish


In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, fry the bacon lardons until crispy. Remove and set aside.

Add the butter to the bacon grease and melt. Add the onions, leeks and endive and sauté until soft. Add the vegetable broth, apple cider, apples, thyme, salt and pepper; simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar and blue cheese. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, and correct for seasoning.

Serve with a hunk of bread and a salad for a filling meal.

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13 Responses to “Endive and Apple Soup” Subscribe

  1. Lynda March 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    This is a complete – and delicious – meal in a bowl! I love the combination of ingredients you’ve come up with.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      We had this for dinner a couple nights ago – and it was perfect as a meal. Thanks so much, Lynda!

  2. The Wimpy Vegetarian March 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Thanks Suzanne! I think you’d really like it – it’s been a real hit here. And a friend of mine took it to a potluck recently, and I heard everyone really liked it. I’m so glad you mentioned the bacon. I added a note in Cook’s Notes about it. It was a dilemma – to bacon or not to bacon. But the flavor really was so wonderful with it, I just had to include it.

  3. Rosemary March 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    I need to make this~ can you believe I still have endive that Rodger sent me? It keeps amazingly well. My husband is not a fan of it raw or roasted, so this soup may be the trick :) especially with bacon!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      You’re in good company, Rosemary. This was the last of the endive Rodger sent me :-) And I can tell you that Myles really loved this soup. But not without the bacon…that was a key ingredient for him. And you’re right; the endive keeps amazingly well! I hope you give this a go.

  4. LiztheChef March 19, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Great pairing of flavors – what kind of apples do you like here?

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      Thanks Liz! I used Fuji apples, which worked really well. I would steer away from Granny Smiths for this dish as they’re a little more tart, and dry.

  5. Soni March 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Such a unique and interesting mix of ingredients here!Love the combination of apples and endive with the meaty bacon!Bookmarked :)

  6. Norma Chang March 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    An interesting combination, should give it a try,

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

      Thanks Norma! I hope you like it if you do. A friend of mine took this to a pot luck and it was a big hit :-)

  7. Winnie March 20, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Looks delicious!

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