This curried Belgian endive soup with apple is an elegant, delicious and festive soup dish highlighting the unique flavor of Belgian endives. The sweet apple and fragrant curry powder creates a perfect balance with the subtle bitterness of the endives. The velvety texture of the soup is achieved through its own purée, making it wonderfully creamy without any dairy. This soup is an excellent make-ahead and freezer-friendly meal, ensuring a convenient and effortless option for the week or as a delightful appetizer for the festive season.
What are Belgian endives?
Belgian endives, also known as chicory, are cone-shaped leafy vegetables with a beautiful pale white color. The cultivation process was discovered in Belgium in the 19th century, hence its name referring to the country.
The roots are stored and eventually sprouted in dark cellars which is why the leaves of Belgian endives are white and not green. Belgian endives are called ‘witlof’ in the Netherlands and ‘witloof’ in Belgium, both meaning ‘white leaves’. They are a typical fall and winter vegetable but can nowadays be found all year round in supermarkets.
They are a very versatile vegetable for almost any recipe as they can be braised, steamed, roasted, and even eaten raw.
Here are some recipes to try with Belgian endives or witloof:
- Braised endives with bacon and cheese
- Belgian endive salad with ham, apple and feta
- Creamy pasta with endives and smoked trout
- Belgian endive salad with egg
Belgian endive soup recipe
This chicory soup recipe or Belgian endive soup with apple is an elegant upgrade from the classic endive soup, indicating the versatility of this dish. Thanks to its distinct and unique flavor, endives are perfect for a weekday meal as well as any festive occasion. Simply enhance the soup with different ingredients to give it a more unique taste.
The addition of curry powder and apple to this recipe provides sweet and fragrant notes to balance the slight bitter taste making it a soup the whole family will enjoy.
Chicory soup ingredients
- Belgian endives: Use endive heads that are firm, compact and tightly closed with crisp pale white-yellow leaves. Avoid endives with wilted or dark stained leaves.
- Garlic and onion: The garlic and onion will be sautéed to serve as the aromatic flavorbase of this soup. Using garlic flakes instead of a clove is also an option for this soup.
- Potatoes: Opt for a starchy potato variety like Russets. Starchy potatoes have a tendency to break down effortlessly during cooking, serving as a natural thickening agent. It will make the soup creamy without the need for additional cream.
- Apple: The sweetness of the apple balances great with the taste of endives. Use a sweet apple variety that work well for creamy soups like Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp. Cook the apple in the soup cored and peeled.
- Curry powder: Adding curry powder to chicory soup provides a punch of fragrance. Use your favorite curry powder, but preferably a mild blend.
- Broth: Use either chicken or vegetable broth according to personal preference.
- Butter: To sauté the vegetables before adding the broth I prefer using butter, but you can also use olive oil or any other oil of your choice.
- Seasoning: Apart from the curry powder, salt and pepper to taste is all this soup needs. It is also best to to opt for white pepper instead of black pepper in order to maintain the white-yellowish color of the soup.
- Garnish: Use finely sliced, uncooked apple to garnish, it will add some crunch and freshness to the soup. Use apple with peel for extra color. Additionally, add a tiny pinch of curry powder and fresh parsley for garnish when serving.
Step by step instructions
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This endive soup comes together in a few simple steps. Here is a summary of the instructions:
- Chop the endives: Rinse the endives briefly under cold water, the thinner pointy bit down. This is optional as endives are often already clean, so just removing the outer leaves is usually also fine. Trim off the darker bottom part of the endive and cut lengthwise in half. Remove the hard inner core at the bottom of the endive head. This part is what makes the endive taste bitter. Chop the rest into pieces.
- Cut the vegetables: Peel and finely dice the onion and garlic. Peel and cut the potatoes into small equally sized cubes. Peel and core the apple and chop into small pieces.
- Sauté the vegetables: Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Add the potatoes, Belgian endives and garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Then add the apple and curry powder and stir to coat.
- Simmer the soup: Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Once the liquid boils, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
- Purée the soup: Remove the soup pot from the heat and purée the soup with an immersion (handheld) blender until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper to taste and blend again.
- Serve with toppings: Serve the soup warm with fresh parsley, a pinch of curry powder and finely sliced apple.
- Make it vegan: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock and the soup will be vegan.
- Add protein: As a protein topping, add finely diced deli-ham, thinly sliced smoked salmon or crispy bacon.
- Use pears: Instead of apple you can try a slightly different flavor by adding a pear.
- Make it even more creamy: Add half a cup of half and half or heavy cream to make this soup even more creamy.
How to store
This soup is perfect to make ahead and store for later. Or when having leftovers, you can store in the fridge or freezer for later use.
- In the fridge: After cooking and mixing, allow to cool to room temperature and store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- In the freezer: Allow to cool to room temperature and store in smaller portions in airtight freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 3 months.
- To reheat: Reheat the soup in the microwave oven or in a pan on the stove top.
What to serve with endive soup
- Toppings: Serve with finely sliced apple, parsley and a pinch of curry powder. Or serve with finely sliced endive spears, croutons, crispy roasted chickpeas, chopped hazelnuts or walnuts.
- Salads: Pair this endive soup with a seasonal fall or winter salad like this pear and gorgozola salad, Belgian endive salad with ham and apple or grilled halloumi and sweet potato salad.
- Bread: Serve with crunchy baguette, focaccia or ciabatta.
More creamy soup recipes to try
- Sweet potato soup with chorizo
- Red lentil soup
- Celeriac soup with pecans
- Classic pumpkin soup
- Butternut squash soup with orange
Or click here for more favorite soup recipes.
Curried Belgian endive soup with apple
- 1 pound (or 500 grams) Belgian endives
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ⅔ cups (or 150 grams) potatoes peeled and diced
- 1½ cups (or 180 grams) apples cored, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon butter or cooking oil
- 4½ cups (or 1 litre) vegetable broth
- 1½ teaspoon curry powder
- salt and white pepper to taste
- apple finely sliced
- fresh parsley chopped
- pinch curry powder
- Briefly rinse the endive heads, trim off the base and cut lengthwise in half. Remove the hard inner core at the bottom of each half and chop the rest into pieces.
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté the onions for a few minutes until translucent. Then add the potatoes, garlic and Belgian endives and cook for another 5 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the apples and curry powder and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, then pour in the broth. Bring the liquid to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Remove the pot from the heat and purée the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Add more broth or water if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then blend again.
- Serve warm and garnish with a pinch of curry powder, chopped parsley and a few apple sticks.
- Apple for garnish: When serving, garnish with a few slices, sticks or cubes of apple in the soup for some extra crunch. You can leave the peel on for extra color.
- Leftovers: Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Or store in the freezer in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months maintaining correct freezer temperatures for the long term freezing of foods.