1.19.2011

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

by erin

Although I complain about it a lot, I really don't dislike Minnesota winters. It's cold and snowy, yes, but along with those things comes winter fun like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowball-making. And although walking the dog is downright painful when the day's high is zero degrees (as is predicted for later this week) (um, BRR), there is little that I've seen that is more beautiful than a fresh snow on a winter night, and that almost (ALMOST) makes up for the cold.

 (pretty

But there is one thing that I truly, deeply loathe about winter: driving. I think it's partially because of the times (yes, I said times) that I drove into a ditch while driving to and from North Dakota, partially because my little Mazda is severely lacking in the traction department, and partially because Minnesota drivers (dudes who overcompensate by buying huge trucks and moms in SUVs, I'm looking at you) are insanely overconfident on slippery roads. Whatever the reason, driving in snow or on ice makes me want to DIE.

After about a month of daily nervous breakdowns during my commute, I decided I was OVER IT and looked into my mass transit options, which is really something I should have done a long time ago. Now it takes me two buses and about 45 minutes to get to work, during which I sleep drink coffee and read my Nook. It is glorious.

And now to get to the (anticlimactic) point. Today, due to bus timing, I found myself with a longer walk home from the bus than I usually have. While I don't mind the walk, the nine degree temperature made it a chilly one. So all I could think about while walking home was the butternut squash in my produce bowl and how I could use it in a delicious, warm, perfect-for-winter soup. I walked in the door, tossed down my stuff, and got to work.

Butternut Squash Apple Soup
(adapted from this recipe)
 
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
(note: it is much easier to roast the squash first and then deal with it. cut it in half, place it in a baking dish split side down with a little standing water at the bottom, and roast it for 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees. then scoop it out and add it to the soup.)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 green or other tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped
dash red pepper (optional)
salt, pepper, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg to taste
1/2 c. almond milk (or soy or cow's milk, or, if you're feeling dangerous, half and half or heavy cream!)
goat cheese

Cook the onion, carrot and celery in butter for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the broth, apple, and squash, and bring to a boil. Add spices, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Using an immersion or stand blender, puree soup until it is thick and creamy. Stir in milk and bring it up to temperature without boiling. Garnish with a dollop of goat cheese (or any cheese that strikes your fancy) and enjoy!

My soup was a little bland at first, so after you blend it, keep tasting it and adding spices until it's perfect. When in doubt, add more goat cheese (basically my life motto).

in making this soup, I learned that butternut squash seeds are delicious! just pick them out of the goop, place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and bake in the same oven as your squash for 5-10 minutes. a perfect appetizer while you're waiting for your squash to roast.

the stars of the show

and the warm, creamy, delicious finished product.

3 comments:

Rachel at The Inspired House.org said...

Wow that looks amazing! I've got to try this. You poor thing, more power to ya enduring those winters! I'm in Georgia and I am even having issues with this years crazy cold weather. :) Just stumbled upon your blog and am glad I did!

Ari- Audrey Onassis said...

Even though I'm in my bed in ARIZONA, I still got really cold reading your story about Minnesota winters. BRR!

This soup looks delicious and creamy!

Evan Thomas said...

The soup sounds delicious, especially after the snow storm we just got in the NorthEast.

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