Thursday, November 10, 2011

Butternut squash and apple soup

This is something that adds a lovely, elegant touch to any meal.  It's excellent with a crisp salad and crusty bread, or as a starter before a more substantial dinner.  It's creamy and buttery (yet uses neither cream nor butter).  It's sweet and savory, and it's a great thing to have if you are going to be eating something particularly spicy for your main course. 

It's also very easy to make.  I made this last weekend with the butternut squash I had gotten from my CSA.

Take a large butternut squash, slice it in half, and remove the seeds and the seed pulp.  Place in a foil lined baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil (especially in the cavities) and add one sage leaf to each cavity (if you have them available; you can freeze fresh sage and take out a little of that and use it).  At this point, if you prefer the mellower taste of roasted garlic, take two to four cloves, place in the pan, and drizzle with some olive oil.  Roast in a 350 degree oven until it's tender--I usually do it for about an hour or so.  (If you're pressed for time, start it in the microwave.)  Once it's done, remove the sage leaves and scoop out the butternut squash; place it in a bowl.

Meanwhile, clean and slice two leeks (white and light green parts only).  Peel, core, and chop a grannysmith apple.  And chop a medium sized onion (or use about 3/4 a cup of chopped frozen onion from your grocer's frozen food section).  If you didn't want to roast your garlic, take two to four cloves, smash and chop them.  Sautee all of these in a stockpot in some olive oil over medium heat, until translucent and fragrant.

Add the butternut squash (and roasted garlic if you decided to use that) to the pot, and about 4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock (turkey stock is also acceptable).  Bring to a boil  and then allow to simmer for ten or fifteen minutes.  At this point, you either want to transfer it in batches to a food processor or blender and puree it, or use an immersion blender right in the pot.  Puree it and allow it to simmer more.  Add a little more stock as it will get very thick (unless you like it very thick). 

You can add roasted squash seeds, crispy fried sage, or just a sprinkling of black pepper or chili pepper for a garnish if you wish (if you prefer it spicy, I'd do a little streak of cayenne or chili pepper).

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I was going to make Butternut Squash soup for you on Saturday! I'm open to a challenge, but this sounds pretty darn good, so I concede. I'm just going to have to "wow" you with the cider-glazed duck, chocolate mousse pie and the salad you inspired!