The fall season is definitely in full effect. Football games, Halloween parties and chilly nights call for a comforting autumn soup.
I pair my winter squash soup with duck breast filled crepes and spiced rum infused apple cider. Your soup can be prepared 2-3 days ahead of time and reheated when needed.
WINTER SQUASH SOUP INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or Safflower oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh apple cider (not juice)
One 2-pound winter squash of your choice (butternut squash is traditional)
—peeled, seeded and diced (5 1/2 cups) (pre-cut squash can be found in the produce section of Whole Foods)
4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock (Pacific Foods)
1/2 cup heavy cream (milk, soy or almond milk)
1 cup low sodium pumpkin puree OPTIONAL (Tree Of Life)
2 cloves garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 McIntosh apple, diced
1/2 cup grated smoked gouda (or cheddar) cheese
Chives or thinly sliced blue sage leaves, as garnish
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and shallot; caramelize over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic just till fragrant. Add (warm) apple cider to create syrupy consistency, about 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and (warm) chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 40 minutes. Add pumpkin puree.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches. Be sure not to add hot soup to blender and always keep a towel and steady hand over the blender lid when turning on. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Add bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Keep soup on a low simmer.
- Heat a medium skillet. Add the butter and diced apple. Stirring constantly, sauté over high heat until the apple is golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- As always, serve soup in heated bowls; garnish with the smoked gouda or cheddar, sautéed apples and chives or blue sage; enjoy.
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT IDEAS
Grilled chicken breast
Grilled duck or duck leg confit
Curry powder (t/t)
*(t/t) To Taste