Thursday, February 28, 2013

Butternut Squash Apple Soup


Here’s a recipe for an unusual butternut squash soup. It includes apples, but it’s not the typical sweetened take on butternut squash. It derives its flavor from curry and chili, rather than sugar, cream, and butter, making it an ideal choice for vegan or low-calorie diets.

This is my adaptation of a recipe used for the store-made soup at Atkins Farms in Amherst, Massachusetts:
It used to be a little farm stand – now it’s a terrific grocery, bakery, and deli, in addition to the farm stand.

The original recipe calls for cooking the squash in the stock, but I prefer to roast it in advance; this lends a darker color and flavor to the soup. And it’s far easier to peel cooked butternut squash than the slippery raw vegetable. The roasting can be done the day before, and the cooked squash keeps well in the freezer.

[Edit November 2013: When I made this soup last week, I cooked the squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed) in the broth (instead of roasting it) and it was just delicious. So - either method is fine. 

The ingredients, pictured here, are listed at the end of the post.

Prepare the vegetables:

Preheat the oven to 375˚F, and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a roasting pan or large baking dish with heavy foil, and drizzle olive oil over the surface.

Wash the squash, scrubbing the rind carefully, to remove any impurities that might be forced into the squash when you cut it up. Cut it into thick slices (1.5 inches) and remove the seeds. Don’t cut it too small, or it will dry out in the oven. Don’t peel it.

Spread the slices in the oiled pan, turning to coat with oil. Bake until the slices are very tender and browned; this could take an hour or more, depending on the size and age of the squash, and the thickness of the slices.

When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Scrape the soft squash out of the rinds and cut it into 1” pieces, if it still has any shape to it.

Prepare the onions and/or leeks and the apples and set them aside.

Prepare the soup:

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and leeks, stirring to coat with the oil. Sauté, stirring frequently, until they are translucent but not browned, about five minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Stir in the apples; cover and cook until the apples are soft, 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the apples are soft, add the squash and the spices:

Cover and simmer over low heat until the squash melts into the soup, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When everything is entirely cooked and very soft, remove the soup from the heat.

Purée the soup in small batches, reducing it to a velvety smoothness. Return it to the soup pot; add more broth if desired, and adjust seasonings. [I forgot to take photos at this point!] Reheat gently to serve.

Serve in warmed bowls, garnished with a dollop of plain Greek-style nonfat yogurt (or sour cream, if you’re feeling decadent).

 This soup keeps well for several days in the refrigerator, and freezes well.

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

1 large butternut squash
Olive oil for roasting the squash
3 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
2 large onions, peeled and sliced thinly (I used a combination of leeks and onions)
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a little more)
5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
3 firm, tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Plain Greek-style nonfat yogurt (or sour cream), to garnish (optional)
Frizzled leeks, to garnish

All my recipes may be viewed here:

They are further organized as follows, with some overlap:
Main Dishes
Soups and Stews

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