Bubbling Cauldron

October 13, 2011

The obvious recipe suggestion for this month’s recipe would be something pumpkin, right? After all, it’s a fall favorite and used in everything from your morning breakfast muffin, scone or latte, pumpkin soup at lunch or an evening dessert of the ever-popular pumpkin pie. (If you’re in the market for some pumpkin recipes check out Food Network or the October issue of Food Network magazine for “A Month of Pumpkin”).

Even though pumpkin is the “America’s sweetheart”, the star squash fruit of the season, I prefer the sweet, nutty taste of butternut squash. If you’ve read my About page, you know that I’m not a pumpkin lovin’ girl. Since my personal ghost stories include years of eating food that tasted like cardboard and/or was prescribed by the latest diet guru, I’ve learned to leave my haunted past behind and cook and eat food that is not only fresh and in season, but satisfyingly delicious as well.

This butternut squash soup is one of my all-time fall favorites. It’s sweet and savory and will warm you on a chilly evening while you’re sitting with family and friends telling spooky stories. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

serves 6 hungry soup lovers
takes approximately 1 hour to prepare

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large)
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
5 pounds butternut squash (2 large)
1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples) — option: use Granny Smith apples for a hint of tartness
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
2 cups fresh apple cider or apple juice (cider is best)

Directions

Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks.

Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.

Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Puree the soup coarsely in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. For a creamier soup, use a Vitamix or high performance blender.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple cider or juice and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

What’s your favorite fall soup recipe? Perhaps it’s one you like to prepare yourself or just one you like to eat (after someone else has done the simmering)? If you’re a fan of eating or cooking with pumpkin, I’d like to hear about that too. As a matter of fact, I still have 13 cans of pumpkin in my pantry if anyone wants to put them …

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