Apple, Gruyere and Sage Muffins and a Childhood Soup

When autumn and winter come around, I become even more nostalgic (is that even possible?) of certain smells and foods of my childhood. I remember clearly walking around my grandparents’ garden puling fresh leeks right off the ground. We would take bunches and bunches home every Sunday. My dad’s car smelled of leeks all winter long.

If there is one traditional soup in the Basque Country, it must be porrusalda or leek soup. It is peasant food and the soup all of us grew up eating. Believe it or not, I seem to have been a picky eater as a child. I do not remember much about it, but I often times hear it from my mom. “You despised vegetables”, she tells me. Funny how life is. So my mom made sure to puree all soups for me to get me to eat as many vegetables as possible.

I have to admit that texture has stuck with me as I do love creamy and slightly chunky soups. When cooler weather comes around, I eat soup almost every single day.

I made this variation of porrusalda this week when the skies were dark and stormy. We were under a tropical storm warning for two days so we stayed in for the most part. A simple soup with leeks, garlic, potatoes and butternut squash. Slightly sweet so I decided to make some cheesy muffins to go with it.

I keep dreaming of my uncle’s apple orchard where we spent so much time this late summer. Apple goodness everywhere. Eating them raw and preparing them in a million different ways.

I thought it would be great to have a savory kind of cake to go with the soup and I love the combination of apples, gruyere and sage. The muffins are moist, sweet and salty at the same time. Serve the soup with a little sour cream, black pepper and olive oil. Perfect comfort food.

Apple, Gruyere and Sage Muffins

makes 6 muffins plus a loaf

1 cup (150 grams) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (75 grams)millet flour
2 Tbs (30 grams) potato starch
2 Tbs (20 grams) tapioca starch
1/3 cup (70 grams) cane sugar
1 tsp (8 grams) baking powder
1/2 tsp (3 grams) baking soda
1/2 tsp (5 grams) salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbs fresh sage, finely chopped
1 cup (55 grams) shredded Gruyere
1 egg
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
1/4 cup (55 ml) olive oil
2 apples, peeled and small diced
Extra shredded Gruyere for topping

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 11 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Fold in the diced apples.

Scoop batter into molds. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes for the muffins and 40 minutes for the loaf.

Leek, Butternut Squash and Potato Soup

2 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup (1/2 leek), diced
2 cups butternut squash, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
3 cups chicken stock (or water)
Black pepper
Sour cream, optional

In a medium pot, saute the leeks in the olive oil for about 2 minutes. Do not let them brown. Add the squash and potatoes and saute them for another minute. Add the chicken stock and salt. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook them covered for about 20 minutes.

Puree the soup and taste it. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with cracked black pepper and sour cream.


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21 Responses to “Apple, Gruyere and Sage Muffins and a Childhood Soup”

  1. Marie says:

    lovely as always! i was wondering, what is buttermilk exactly?

  2. Marie- Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream, but nowadays is made by fermenting milk. It’s got a tangy and sour taste and is quite thick, almost like pourable yogurt. If you can’t find it, you could imitate it by adding 1 Tbs of fresh lemon juice into 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 5-10 min until milk starts to curdle.

    Thanks!

  3. The smell of the bread is filling my home as I type…. I’m so excited to use it in a GF sausage stuffing I’ll be making for Thanksgiving tomorrow… THANKS!

  4. gastrogeek says:

    what a lovely recipe :-) I made spinach and gruyere muffins last year with whole chunks of oozing cheese in the middle. http://gastrogeek.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/spinach-and-gruyere-muffins/

  5. Mel says:

    Those muffins sound delicious! But unfortunately for that lovely looking soup, I am not a fan of squash; do you possibly have any suggestions for any other veggie(s) to substitute there? =)

  6. LaurenAnne says:

    I just discovered your blog today! What a fantastic record of recipes and the photography is amazing! I just subscribed and can’t wait to read more!

  7. Sara says:

    This looks delicious! I love apples and cheese together, such a great combination. :)

  8. Sini says:

    What a lovely, delicious soup this was. Can’t wait to make the muffins too!

  9. Mado says:

    Can’t wait to bake the muffins…

  10. cissy says:

    Your posts are always a feast for the soul, eyes and tummy, thank you for sharing so generously!

  11. Barbara T says:

    Hello
    First I love your blog and will take it a step further by getting your book. The above recipe has garlic in the ingredients but not in the directions. I assume it goes in with the leek or does it not belong?. PS
    I hope you dont mind if I email you from time to time with questions – specifically substitutions for things. Living in the North East has its limitations when it comes to good fresh produce.
    Thank you

  12. [...] Squash-leek soup: also very good, and tolerated by most of the Johnson boys. [...]

  13. Natalie says:

    Somehow a couple of months ago I stumbled upon this site while searching for autumn recipes. Finally it’s Fall and I couldn’t wait to make them. As we sat down as family to eat, we enjoyed nothing but silence followed but a lot of ” yum” ” wow” and ” can I have more ” sounds and comments. Thoroughly enjoyed these recipes , the story behind them, and now I to will make it my yearly tradition to make these too. Thank you so much!!!!!!

    P.S. I didn’t have the. 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, so I substituted it with ground flax seed- ( googled substitutes, and that’s what I came up with) Turned out great :)

  14. ardriar says:

    I’m obsessed with making muffins lately and made these tonight, they came out really well. Thank you!
    Fyi for those who bake these: I replaced olive oil with butter, didn’t use xanthan gum as I had none, and just used more tapioca starch instead of potato starch (as I had no potato starch handy, just potato flour) and they were super delicious. I couldn’t tell they were gluten free at all.

  15. [...] Tomato Soup — by An Edible Mosaic Roasted Broccoli Cheese Soup — by I Am Baker Apple, Gruyere and Sage Muffins and a Childhood Soup — by Cannelle & Vanille Dried Mushroom an Root Vegetable Soup — by Matmedmera (in swedish) [...]

  16. Natassia says:

    Hi,
    The potato leek soup has become one of my all-time favorites. I made this bread in muffin form awhile ago, omitted the cheese and replaced the sage with rosemary and they came out great. However, I just made the loaf according to the recipe, and it tastes awesome but crumbles to bits. I did use almond milk instead of the buttermilk as that is what is on hand, but I can barely hold the bread without it falling apart, not to mention cutting it. What would help for future reference?
    Thanks!

  17. [...] the best article i have ever read. beautiful words. the prettiest garden. we made this soup last weekend. it was scrumptious. a blog we love. incredible photojournalistic story & images [...]

  18. Meg says:

    I have made the soup countless times since first discovering it Christmas-time 2012. I just want to thank you so much for it because it’s incredibly delicious and tastes complex but amazingly easy to make; I’ve memorized the recipe! The muffins are delicious as well, although I’ve only made them a couple times.

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