In Honor of the First Week of Fall…Butternut Squash Soup!
September 21, 2008 by arugulove
Tis the season for yummy soups.
This week’s box had apples in it, and Trader Joes had butternut squash on sale, so I took that as an omen that I needed to make a nice fall soup. This recipe from Food and Wine is amazing.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 cup apple cider
One 1 3/4-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice (5 1/4 cups)
4 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 McIntosh apple, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/3 cup coarsely shredded smoked cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
One-inch pieces of chives or thinly sliced sage leaves, for garnish
My grocery store didn’t have any decent cider, so I just used high quality, fresh apple juice instead. As for the apples, I think next time, I will peel them first because the skin just created texture issues that I didn’t really like. And, even if you don’t like smoked cheeses, I really recommend trying this with the smoked cheddar and not swapping it out for something more mild. It has a very pungent smell and taste on its own, but it mellows out in the soup and compliments the sweetness of the apples and squash beautifully.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the apple cider and cook until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 40 minutes.
In a blender, puree the soup in batches. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Heat a medium skillet. Add the butter and diced apple and cook over high heat until the apple is tender and golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the smoked cheddar and sautéed apples. The recipe suggests garnishing with fresh thyme or sage. Instead, I made homemade croutons by roughly chopping some crusty bread, tossing with a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and baking at 350 for 20 minutes.
Yum. This really is the perfect fall soup.