In rainy fall weather, when I crave some violently bright color to offset all the gray, and when I am pining for wintertime smells and flavors, this stuff is a standby of our household. I also used to make it when we'd get headcolds and it seemed to help. Okay, so it's not exactly health food (especially if you are watching sugar) -- it will still warm you up and pack you full of antioxidants and bioflavenoids and pectin and fiber and good stuff.
Back in the day, I used to top a bowlful with a dollop of plain yogurt. Today I didn't have any, and I think I liked it better without. Sometimes I'm not in the mood for dairy.
If you don't love this as a hot soup, keep it around and use it to top desserts or as the soupy portion of a cobbler, or something.
This is almost too simple to be a recipe. You can add a knob of butter if you want, and top it with plain yogurt if you so desire... but it's pleasing as is.
2 apples, cored and sliced
1 1/2 cups cranberries
water to cover, or a mix of water and apple juice
about 1/3 cup of sugar (I used vanilla sugar today because ALL of my sugar is in that container) -- or you could use alternative sweeteners, but artificial sweeteners are nasty with cranberries. You've been warned.
1 teaspoon spice of choice (I used pumpkin pie spice today because I was feeling lazy, but cinnamon and allspice work wonderfully ... and so does black pepper if you're feeling naughty)
tiny pinch of salt
Simmer fruit until cranberries have burst and broken down considerably, and apples are very soft. Puree with immersion blender (or in batches in pitcher blender). Spice and sweeten to taste -- it will require a considerable amount of sugar to be palatable but should remain on the tart side. You may strain this mixture if you prefer not to have curly, linear bits of cranberry and apple peel in your thick, velvety puree: I didn't today because we're tough that way. It depends on how ferocious your blender is, too... if you've got a Vita-Mix, gosh, why bother straining it?