Introduction: Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
This comforting soup is like autumn in a bowl, though luckily we can find the ingredients year round because once you try it, you'll want to make it again and again.
I had never been a fan of the previous butternut squash soups I tried, they just tasted bland to me. Last year our local indoor farmers' market cafe served a roasted butternut squash soup I tried and loved, when I asked the secret I was told they roasted the squash with apples giving the soup a smooth, silky texture with nutty flavor from the roasted squash and sweetness from the apples. I looked online and found this recipe from the New York Times that included another one of my fall favorites, apple cider, along with my favorite spice, cinnamon, and found my recipe.
This healthy soup is hearty enough to make a meal, great paired with an acidic salad; but would also make a pretty appetizer served in smaller portions.
Makes about 3 quarts
Recipe from the New York Times, adapted by Sam Kass
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
2 butternut squashes, quartered, seeds removed
2 to 3 Granny Smith apples (I used 3)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups apple cider or juice (I used cider)
2 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth or water), more as needed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg, or to taste
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Step 2: Roast Butternut Squash and Apples
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut each squash quarter in half and place in a large bowl. Quarter and core apples (a melon baller makes easy work of coring apples), and add to bowl. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Rub everything to coat well, and transfer to a large baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil. (Since the apples roast in shorter time than the squash I roasted them on a separate sheet, which also prevents over-crowding which would steam the squash and apples, not roast them.)
Bake, rotating pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking, until apples are soft in center when poked with a paring knife, about 30 minutes. Transfer apples to a plate to cool, and return squash to oven to bake until soft, another 15 to 30 minutes.
Step 3: Puree, Heat, Season, and Enjoy
When apples and squash are cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh into a large bowl; discard skins. Working in batches, purée squash and apples in a food processor or blender. If necessary, add some apple cider to each batch to help purée.
Transfer purée to a 4- to 6-quart soup pot. Add remaining cider and enough chicken broth or water for desired consistency. Place over medium-low heat. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice; as soup warms, flavors will emerge. Heat just until steaming, and adjust seasonings to taste. Ladle into warm bowls.
If desired, garnish with dried cranberries or dried cherries, toasted almond slivers and diced apple. Some cinnamon-sugar buttered croutons would surely be tasty too, but this soup is delicious right from the pot.
Hope you warm your body with this soup soon, enjoy!