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Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
A simple, yet complex squash soup that’s best served with French bread and good company.
Currently, it’s pouring rain outside and I can hear the family of ducks maniacally quacking at one another as if it’s the best day of their lives, ever. It very well may be, as it’s their first time getting to experience rain falling from the sky rather than the hose nozzle they’re accustomed to. Part of me is just as happy as they are, and the other part of me is in denial that fall is really here and it’s officially time to pull out all of my cozy sweaters and fuzzy socks in preparation for winter.
With the arrival of fall weather, I’ve been soup obsessed and making a variety of different soups depending upon the fresh produce that I have on hand. Most recently, I’ve found myself surrounded by all different types of squash, most importantly, butternut squash which is probably my favorite kind of squash to experiment with. This week, I wanted to recreate a soup recipe I had the pleasure of experiencing at a winery event a couple of years ago.
While my version has ended up slightly different than the original butternut squash soup I was attempting to duplicate, I think my version holds up fairly well and is a quintessential soup to enjoy throughout fall and into the winter months. If you’re looking for a somewhat non-traditional soup to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, this apple and butternut squash soup fits the bill.
The apples, butternut squash and leeks are roasted in the oven with a sprinkling of cumin and fresh sage, which as you probably guessed it, makes the kitchen smell like fall. Just thinking about it makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. It’s like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that can make you temporarily forget your worries in life when you catch that first whiff of deliciousness.
If you’re lucky enough to live nearby an apple orchard, tart apples are best for this soup recipe. Jonagold are my favorite, though not always available, but Granny Smith will also be sufficient in a pinch. Bonus points if the apple orchard also sells hard apple cider because the dry white wine used in this recipe can be replaced by high-quality hard apple cider. I used Tin City Cider’s original cider, which can be purchased here.
This apple and butternut squash soup can be made non-alcoholic and vegetarian. While the flavors will be slightly different, you can swap out the wine or hard cider for sparkling cider, and the chicken broth can be replaced with vegetable broth.
Personally, this isn’t the type of soup I think of when the weather is dark and stormy outside. Generally, I find myself craving minestrone, chicken tortilla soup, or chili such as this orange black bean chili as soon as the rain boots come out of the closet. But this apple and butternut squash soup is surprisingly warming on a crisp evening, especially when served with a couple of warm slices of French bread and a generous pouring of either a dry white wine (such as this dry riesling from Fess Parker) or hard apple cider.
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into cubes
- 1 pound tart apples, peeled, cored and quartered
- 1 large leek, thickly sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons chopped sage
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- olive oil
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups hard apple cider, dry white wine, or sparkling dry apple cider
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
- salt and pepper