1 large russet baking potato (peeled)
5 medium carrots (peeled)
1 small - medium gala apple (peeled)
1/4 of a medium sweet onion
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil (I use extra virgin, but whatever you have will do)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves - divided (Important note here: use fresh, not dried. There's a definite taste difference. )
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups filtered water
Paprika & thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)
Slice all veggies and apple into equal size pieces. I like to slice mine thin so that they cook faster, but the most important thing is that they're the same size. Heat oil in medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add onion, potato, carrots and apple. Add in crushed red pepper and salt/pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until everything is slightly tender, yet still has a bite to it. You should also get some browning in the bottom of the pan at this point. (If it seems like everything is cooking too quickly, lower the heat closer to medium.) Once you've reached this point, add in 1/2 the thyme and let cook for another minute or so. Add the water, cover and allow to boil over med-high heat until everything is very soft. It's important to cook until very soft versus fork tender to ensure a smooth consistency. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly in pan.
Then purée either in your blender or with an emersion blender.
I have a Blendtec, and in that I pulsed a couple of times to combine, then blended at speed 1 for 15 seconds and then on speed 5 for another 15 seconds. The main thing is to purée until it is super smooth.
Stir in the rest of the thyme and add more salt/pepper if needed. Pour into 4 individual bowls and garnish with paprika and thyme sprigs.