Saturday, November 23, 2013
Butternut Squash Apple Soup
We grew butternut squash last summer in a community garden. I have a hallway downstairs lined with squash! We love it cut into chunks, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with Rosemary Garlic Salt and oven roasted BUT there are so many other great ways to prepare this versatile vegetable. Here is my new favorite. This soup makes a tasty first course for Thanksgiving dinner or a filling main course for lunch.
Butternut Squash - Apple Soup
4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium Pink Lady apple (about 8 ounces)
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or heavy cream
2 tablespoons Calvados apple brandy, if desired
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon butter (or EVOO) and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
Add broth, water, and salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed; stir in Calvados. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if desired.
Posted by Helen Sturgeon