The calendar may still say that it's summer, but take a walk through your supermarket and you will see the signs everywhere--from the school supplies to the too-early Halloween candy display to the sudden proliferation of many varieties of apples--FALL IS HERE! Yikes, how did that happen?! And here in the Northeast, we've been experiencing colder than normal temperatures too, so it's even more disconcerting. Don't get me wrong, I love the fall, but it's hard to say goodbye to the calmer, less scheduled days of summer, when no one has school or homework. But, the cooler days are a good excuse to make this very scrumptious and pretty looking butternut squash soup.
This is a family favorite, based on a recipe that my Mom has made for years and at this point, I'm not even sure where she got the recipe from. In any case, if you like butternut squash you will love this and even if you don't particularly like butternut squash, you will love this! It's velvety smooth, flavorful and comforting--all things a good soup is supposed to be. Plus, it's orange and there aren't too many foods that can claim that in their natural state. Add in that it's pretty healthy, (there's no cream and I promise you won't miss it at all), just a few ingredients and it comes together really easily and you see why it's a family favorite. The toughest part is cutting up the squash!
You can take the easy way out and buy the squash already cut up, but it's generally more expensive and I think the uncut version tastes better. And you don't even have to remove the rind for this. Just wash the outside of the squash really well with a scrub brush, dry it well, and then cut it up with a very sharp knife and scoop out the seeds. BE CAREFUL!!! I don't know how many squash-related trips to the ER there are per year, but I'm sure it rivals the bagel slicing accidents!
Other than the squash, onions, an apple, butter and some spices, you either need a food processor (less good, but still totally doable) or the amazing, miraculous, incredible, indispensible (should I go on or do you get it already?) immersion blender. This was a gift from my mom after she experienced the wonders of it after yet another food processor mishap--you know, the mess of the liquid running out the sides. If you can, you should get yourself one of these--it has come in handy for so many recipes and is not an expensive kitchen tool.
Another nice thing about this soup is that it makes a large amount--good for many days of enjoyable soup experiences. It reheats well in the microwave, is great for a quick lunch, and really, what could be better than coming home after a long day and knowing that there is delicious soup in the fridge just moments away from being in the bowl and then your tummy?
So as we say goodbye to another summer, welcome in the fall with a steaming bowl of this butternut soup!
Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 10-12 people, depending on the portions
Prep time: 10 minutes (not counting cutting up of squash); Cook Time: 45 minutes-1 hour, plus cooling time to be able to puree it
- 2 large butternut squash, washed well, cut up in pieces, with rind on or not, depending on your preference (3-4 packages if using pre-cut kind)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 apple, chopped
- 64 oz chicken stock or broth (this is an estimate because you only want to barely cover the vegetables in the pot--you may need more or less. Also you can use vegetable broth if you want to keep this vegetarian
- 1 stick butter, unsalted
- salt and pepper to taste
- curry powder to taste
1. In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium heat and saute onions till soft covering pot, about 5 minutes. Add in squash and apple. Pour in stock just barely covering the mixture. If you use more stock, the pureed soup will not be as think--it's still delicious though, so you can't really go wrong. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat lower and let it simmer until squash is fork tender, usually takes about 30 minutes or so.
3. Let cool completely. Using immersion blender, carefully puree soup until smooth. Taste and season with salt, pepper and a few shakes of curry powder (more if you love curry). Stir in. (If using food processor, transfer by ladlefuls and puree in small batches till smooth. Return to pot and season).
4. Serve immediately or store in containers in fridge.
Note: I don't freeze much, but I think that this would freeze well. If you try it, let me know what you think.