Monday, February 1, 2016

Butternut Squash - Apple Soup

Have you ever made butternut squash soup?
There are so many recipes out there it can make your head spin!
This soup is an excellent beginner's recipe that can easily be adapted to your tastes.
It's mild and savory, yet slightly sweet and while it has no milk or cream in it, adding your favorite milk to make it creamier would only enhance the quality. It can be made vegan by using vegetable broth and canola oil instead of the chicken broth and butter. The spices are basic, but can be changed to a curried version quite easily. (coconut milk and red curry paste would be awesome!)   
You can control how thick you want it by adding more broth (or milk) at the end.
This recipe makes about 32 ounces of soup and can be easily doubled.

1 1/2 lbs fresh butternut squash, peeled and chopped into half inch cubes (this will be about 4 cups cubes but if you have a kitchen scale, weigh it after it’s cubed because if you have less than 1 1/2 pounds, you will want to decrease the amount of liquid)
2 red apples, such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 T butter
2 C vegetable or chicken broth (have an additional cup ready if you want to use it later)
1/2 C unsweetened apple cider or juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Remove the bay leaf.
With an immersion blender, blend the soup to your desired texture.
If the soup is too thick, you can add a little more broth or milk.
Makes 32 ounces as written; more if you add more broth or milk to the end.

* To freeze, cool completely and store in a freezer safe container.

** If you don't have an immersion (stick) blender, you can process this in the blender, but be sure to let the soup cool before blending it. Trust me on this. You do not want to blend hot soup. Unless you enjoy cleaning it up from all over your kitchen!

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