If I’m completely honest, I have some mixed feelings about butternut squash. In some preparations, its earthy and fruity and warming. In others, I don’t know, but I don’t like it. For our holiday potluck, though, one of my coworkers made an apple and squash soup that was quite lovely and tasty. She share the recipe, but I ended up not really following it, tweaking the flavors to my own liking. This is a pureed soup, so a stick blender is really helpful. Though it has other uses, the stick blender shines when pureeing hot soups — and it is way easier to clean than the regular blender.
The apples bring out the fruity quality of the squash, and I really like the flavor of butternut with some spice, so the cayenne provides a bit of heat. The use of celery leaves adds flavor and uses a typically wasted part of the vegetable. If you want to make this easy, buy peeled and cubed squash.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 Tablespoon oil (I’ve been using safflower)
- 1 sweet white onion, quartered and sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 20 oz butternut squash, cubed (about one medium squash, but I frequently buy it chopped)
- 2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
In a large hot sauce pan, add oil and then onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown.
Add the squash and then the apples, and cover, without stirring, cooking about 10 minutes with the lid on (steaming the squash and apples).
Add stock and stir well. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until squash is soft and tender, 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the squash cubes.
Add celery leaves, cardamom, and cayenne (adjust to suit your tastes), stir, and cover again. Remove from heat and let the soup cool a bit. Using a stick blender, puree the soup — or do it in a blender or food processor, in smaller batches, being careful with the steam build-up.
Reheat to serving temperature, or cool completely and reheat to serve the next day. The latter really allows the flavors to meld, so I’d recommend making it ahead if possible.