Ottawa-area journalist and blogger, Sonia Mendes, recently posted on her blog a recipe for a delicious-sounding spaghetti squash casserole. So, I have been inspired to post a very simple recipe of mine for a curried butternut squash and apple soup.
As the weather begins getting colder in the fall, few meals take the chill off like soups and stews. Plus, both the squash and apples used in the recipe are in season. I came up with this very simple recipe a few years ago and it has quickly become a family favourite. Serve with a loaf of crusty whole-grain bread for a hearty meal.
1 large butternut squash
5 large cooking apples (e.g. MacIntosh, Courtland, Granny Smith)
3 tbsp. canola oil
3 tbsp. butter
2-3 litres sodium-reduced chicken broth
1 cup apple cider (optional)
Curry powder (optional and to taste)
Sour cream to garnish.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
While the oven is heating, cut squash in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stringy flesh around the seed cavity. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet and roast in oven until a fork goes easily into the flesh, about one hour. When done, remove from the oven to cool, about a half hour. With a large spoon, scoop the flesh out of the skins into a separate bowl and set aside.
Peel, core and slice apples.
Heat oil and melt butter together in a large pot over medium-high heat. When butter foams add apples, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft and golden brown.
Add squash to the apples cooking in the pot. Add the chicken broth making sure that the broth covers the squash and apples. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, double checking to make sure all the squash and apples are soft.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to speed cooling.
Use an immersion blender right in the pot until the soup is smooth, or blend the mixture in batches in a regular blender. Return the pot the stove over medium heat until the smooth soup is simmering. Taste the soup - if you want it to boost the apple flavor, add apple cider and add curry to taste, simmering for about five minutes until curry powder is fully dissolved in the soup.
Place soup in bowls to serve, add a dollop of sour cream and garnish with apple slices or roasted squash or pumpkin seeds.
The recipe can be altered in many ways. Sometimes I want the soup to be little more fruity tasting, so I add more apples, or more apple cider. You can adjust the thickness of the soup by either adding more or less liquid. Even after the fact, if you find the soup too thin, you can simmer it for a while until it reaches the desired consistency.