Monday, January 27, 2014

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

You might ask, where have I been these past few months? I might say...having a baby. This blessed event occurred last November, but only now do i feel the fog of new motherhood lifting and am once again happy to resume experimentation in the kitchen. Content as I am to do little more than care for my precious baby boy, this foodie will go crazy if she does not get her kitchen zen in daily doses.

But back to this soup.

Despite a recent spike in unseasonably warm sunny days here in Seattle we're still enjoying various winter comforts, richly fulfilling squash soups being chief among them. This one has a few tart apples tossed in, giving it a nice lift in flavor. (Cooking with apples in savory uses is highly underrated, in my humble opinion.)

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

This Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is simple to make with just a few ingredients, and has all the richness of a creamy soup without having any actual cream in it. (Two key factors to a new mother who enjoys food but has less time to devote to making it these days.) But it freezes like a dream, so make a big batch and let it feed you twice, or thrice. 

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Serves 4 - 6

You will need:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon allspice
optional - 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
3 packed cups mashed roasted butternut squash (Note: I roasted a medium sized butternut squash and had 2 cups leftover. Use it to make risotto or red curry!)
3 small apples, cored and roughly chopped, with skin on
4 cups vegetable broth
pinch black pepper
salt to taste

SautĂ© onions and garlic in olive oil in a fairly large soup pot on medium heat. 

Add the spices and stir a minute or two, until the onions are well coated and fragrant. Add the apples and roasted squash, stir well. 

Add pepper and broth, bring up to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Carefully puree the soup in batches in a food processor or using an immersion blender, then return to pan and let simmer until serving. Salt to taste. 

If you like, top the soup with a little greek yogurt or roasted butternut squash seeds. (Save the seeds, rinse off any fibers, pat dry, stir in a little butter and salt, spread on a baking sheet and roast at 350 for 10 minutes or until they start to "pop.") Serve with crusty bread, or just plain ole' buttered toast. Enjoy!