Thursday, 29 January 2015

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I had planned on using the butternut squash to make a soup, but when I found an apple with a very soft spot on one side, I added it to the soup. It gave a little bit of extra sweetness, and was a good way to use the apple (other than making apple sauce).

Start out by roasting the squash. Heat the oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half so that the section with the seeds is separated from the neck. Cut each in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut side down in an ovenproof dish. Add about 1" of water.

Place in the oven and roast until the flesh is tender. Check this by pressing against the skin. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, before scraping the flesh away from the skin. Set the squash side until needed.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add a bit of olive oil, and cook:

1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.

Add in the seasonings:

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Add the reserved squash. I had about 2 cups.

Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables. I used about 2 cups.

Simmer the soup until the carrots are soft and easily squished.

Remove the soup from the heat.

Puree, using a hand blender, blender or food processor.

Press the pureed soup through a strainer, to remove any lumps, and to ensure a silky smooth, creamy soup.

I like to use the back of a small ladle to do this.

Return the soup to the pot, and heat it up again. Adjust the thickness by adding milk.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

 Serve the soup with a bit of sour cream as garnish, if you wish.

  • The roasted squash can be used in other dishes, such as butternut squash lasagne or Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheese.
  • If you have a large amount of sweet potatoes, they can be used in place of the squash. They can be roasted in their skin, whole, or diced and cooked with the other vegetables and stock. Canned pumpkin can also be substituted for the squash.
  • Use vegetable stock or water if you want a vegetarian soup.
  • I added milk to my soup at the end, as that was all I had. Whipping cream will up the richness factor of your soup, if you have some available. If you have some coconut milk to use up, that can also be used.
  • Pear can be used instead of apple.
  • Change the flavour profile of your soup by using curry powder as a seasoning; use coconut milk instead of milk and garnish it wil toasted coconut. Other ideas to try: add fresh ginger; garnish the soup with a slice of toasted baguette with goat cheese or use a spice such as start anise.
  • The soup can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for 2 - 3 days, or it can be frozen.

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