Categories
Recipes

Honeycrisp Apple Butternut Squash Soup

And, suddenly, autumn arrives. Yesterday was the first day of fall and it snuck past me without any sort of fanfare. Actually, each meal yesterday included tomatoes and I’ve been hoarding what Early Girl and heirlooms I can find with the rapt attention of a dragon guarding its gold. In school and on into the working years, if I needed to get into a particular state of mind quickly, the best way to do that included dressing the part or what you could call dressing for success, and what some of you might call faking it til you make it. I may still be holding onto light lingering into early evening and perhaps also certain summer states of mind (reading early, often). But, then again, I’ve also cranked up the oven to roast winter squash a handful of times. And, this soup is one such way to fake it till you feel fall-ish. It’s too soon for pumpkin, but bring out the bushels of apples aplenty.

What is it about honeycrisp apples that make them a contender for the ultimate apple? Their sweet and tart flesh that snaps when you take a juicy bite. You can find a host of other apples at farmer’s markets but this particular varietal seems to be the apple of everyone’s eye. Their flavor adds a bright slightly acidic note that balances the sweetness of the squash. Homemade soup to usher in autumn.

Make a pot of homemade Honeycrisp Apple Butternut Squash Soup to fall into an autumn frame of mind.

5 from 1 vote
Print

Honeycrisp Apple Butternut Squash Soup


Course Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups ( 1-inch) chopped butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped (about 4)
  • 2 cups white onion, chopped (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup celery stalks, chopped (about 2)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • Creme fraiche, optional
  • Extra olive oil, optional
  • Extra sage leaves, optional
  • 1 1/2 medium honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

  2. Toss the butternut squash with the 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and sage and a dusting of Aleppo pepper. Roast the squash for 25 minutes or until fork tender.

  3. Drizzle and swirl the remaining olive oil in a heavy stockpot set over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery, and salt for 8 to 10 minutes or until translucent. Add the squash to the pot, tossing together. Pour in the chicken stock. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.

  4. Pour a portion of the soup into the blender with apple slices, removing the cap, and covering the top with a towel. Puree the soup in batches.

  5. Garnish with a swirl of creme fraiche and perhaps a few fried sage leaves, if desired. (To fry them, line a plate with a paper towel. Heat a slick of olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Once shimmering, add the extra sage leaves, lightly frying them until they take on a little bit of color. Drain them on the paper towel before placing them atop of the soup as a garnish.

Roast the squash and you're halfway there to make a comforting pot of Honeycrisp Apple Butternut Squash Soup.

Categories
Recipes

Butternut Squash Chili

SOUP RECIPES- Butternut Squash Chili

Firsts carry a certain lightness where potential and possibility lead the way.

I knew and Nathan knew after the first date that we’d found something rare and good in each other. Over Senegalese food, we bantered and talked for hours. Here was a guy whose eyes did not glaze over as I lightly rebuffed the inane, seemingly mandatory chit chat of first dates. No, instead we talked about homelessness and the difference between managing it and ending it. We talked of dreams and goals both short term and the ones that required time and tenacity to cajole them into being.

Our first Christmas together was so unlike what I would have expected: where I envisioned Nathan and my dad commiserating over a blind taste test of sipping small glasses of port, instead there was my dad´s absence and a desire that they might have had more time with each other. Lest you think it was all dour and no flecks of snowflake, we had bits and bobs of delight woven into our day.

It started with a butternut squash and an idea to build a new tradition. I had a feeling he might be hungry and it was rainy outside. A chili felt right amid the sweet pastry ideas clamoring at the edges of my mind. This also reminded me of eating hoppin johns and cornbread New Years’ past, so it passed with muster. I wanted to make something spice-wise that would be reminiscent of those firsts in the very beginning. toasted cinnamon, Ginger, toasted ground coriander, toasted ground cumin and mortar and pestle sea salt. We garnished ours with crumbled fresh cornbread, a dollop of plain yogurt and some chevre.

Et voilà. We opened our gifts. Him a mobile stainless steel French press and me a book by Dan Simmons. Between spoonfuls of chili and lots of cuddling, this first Christmas was just right. Just enough ritual for our rather unorthodox selves.


We made the trek up to his parents’ house for what definirely equated to a more traditional Christmas: a tree with gifts as roots spreading out. Nathan’s sister tackling the family puzzle and conquering secured corners with her daughter. Her son playing video games. Nathan’s mom stirring and simmering the peas as the holiday ham warmed in the oven. An incident with Texas mixed nuts merited the implementation of the dust buster. Nathan’s brother practicing kicks in the upstairs loft. This clan evoked a cozy side of this first Christmas as one of their own.

And the chili? It tastes better the day after, much like marriage, like the investment of relationships.

 

[print_this]

Butternut Squash Chili

YIELD: 4-6 servings

1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons butter & 1 tablespoon canola oil
2 strips applewood bacon
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon toasted Saigon cinnamon
1 teaspoon toasted cumin
1 tablespoon toasted ground coriander
1/2 roasted butternut Squash, chopped
1 large can pureed San Marzano tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained
1 can chili beans
Pinch of salt

Sauté the onions and garlic in a pan. When they’ve caramelized, place them in your stockpot over to the side to cool.

Cook the bacon in the pan for 8 minutes, flipping often. When cooked through, set on a plate with paper towel to cool. Drain bacon fat from pan.

Brown ground turkey with spices and salt in pan.

Once cooked through, add the ground turkey to the caramelized onion mixture in the stockpot. Add your chunks of butternut squash, along with the pureed tomatoes and beans.

Keep on low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring to ensure chili is well blended.

We served it with a dollop of plain yogurt, some chevre crumbled on top and a piece of cornbread. Delish.

[/print_this]

 

Categories
Recipes

Silky Butternut Squash Soup

SOUP RECIPES- Silky Butternut Squash Soup

The fall hastened the coming of winter this year. Fall came and went overshadowed by the wedding. I think I missed November altogether this year. Thanksgiving became the whole of the month. Yikes. Month one of being married kept us busy unpacking and making our home from our individual bits.

Winter in San Francisco is rain and chill. Snow doesn’t alight on our city but sometimes if we’re lucky, it caps Mt. Tamalpais. Fall and winter mean soup season has descended. Usually I make at least one pot of Butternut Squash soup. It often changes slightly, but after trying this particular rendition, Nathan exclaimed, “you should share this on the blog.” High praise indeed.

Something about soup is both warming and comforting. It fills the belly and heats you up from the core. Homemade soup is like a hand-written letter waiting for you in the mailbox. It makes you want to rip it open, spoon it up. Served with homemade bread or cornbread finishes the ensemble.

One Saturday morning, ahem the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving, the rain was dripping from an all-grey sky. It was a good day to stay home, cook, read and enjoy just being together. I had roasted the butternut squash staring at me from the veggie bowl on our counter the night before. I had been itching to make Butternut Squash soup and that was only made more keen when we had it the night before Thanksgiving at Nathan’s parent’s house. Think of it as bookends to our Thanksgiving celebration.

Nathan came into the kitchen and as I started up the soup, he began playing guitar. The smells of curry scented the air as his strumming set a pace and rhythm. The sizzle of butternut squash in the pot was accented by one song leading into another. This might be one of my favorite Saturdays ever with him. I served this with stuffed peppers and we cozied up in our warm home with the sound of rain slapping the windowpane.

 

[print_this]

SILKY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP 

YIELD: 4 servings

  • ½ leek, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T curry powder
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cooked butternut squash, roasted & quartered
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Heat the oil in a soup pot and once it’s hot, toss in the leeks and garlic along with the curry powder. Once they’ve browned, add the butternut squash. Simmer for about five minutes and then add the whole milk, whipping cream and chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then with your immersion blender, puree the soup. Serve & enjoy.

[/print_this]