Gravenstein Apple and Brie Soup with Basil Oil

A new favorite from our December pick-up party, this recipe is from the kitchens of John Ash & Co., created for the 2016 Gravenstein Apple Fair! Serves 10-12.

1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced thinly
5 stalks celery, sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons EVOO
8 Gravenstein apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 Quarts vegetable stock
2 Cups heavy cream
Lemon juice and salt to taste
1 Lb. Marin Rouge et Noir Brie style cheese

Sauté the onions, celery and apples in large pot with the olive oil until soft. Add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Puree in mixer and return to the pot. Add cream and bring to a boil. Cut brie into 1" pieces and add to the soup. Mix until melted. Adjust flavor with lemon and salt. Serve hot.

Herb Oil
1 cup chopped and packed herbs you want (basil, chive, parsley, tarragon, etc.)
Handful of spinach for more color
1 1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

Blanch herbs with spinach for 15 seconds in heavily salted boiling water. Transfer immediately to ice water bath to get as cold as possible as quick as you can. Drain and squeeze out all water. Chop. Put in blender and add 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend on high and add 1 cup more olive oil. Blend for 30 seconds on high. Add 2 teaspoons salt and blend 5 seconds more. Let sit for 2 hours. Let slowly strain through at least 4 layers of cheese cloth into clean bowl. Kept in fridge, will hold for two weeks.