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.
I also like my Butternut Squash Spicy. I make a spicy butternut squash soup with cayenne pepper and a spicy sausage as the meat base. I also like to use Butternut Squash puree in curries. I consider Butternut Squash as equivalent to pumpkin (as does a lot of the food industry) so that’s what I use in my pumpkin pies also.
We had a bumper crop last year of over 40 pounds. I cooked and pureed a lot of it and then froze it in one pound portions. I am still working on that. I guess it’s a good thing. This year we got 30 pounds of Spaghetti Squash and only 2 butternut squashes.
I was actually going to have Butternut Squash soup for dinner tonight. . I am cooking free form in a bit of a refrigerator clean out. The base will be my Smoked Ham Hock stock. I think I’ll go the cayenne route rather than the curry route. I also have ham hock bits, onions and mushrooms and things that I plan to put in. I’m also planning to slip in a bit of sea weed, but don’t let Matt know. 😉
Ooo, I like spicy, and that recipe sounds awesome. Care to share?
I don’t really use recipes when I cook. Especially since we started getting most of our produce from the garden. I see what there is. I gather what I want to use. I taste until I like it. I have also got dehydrated and canned stuff (from our garden or wild-crafted) that I can fill in with if I need a particular thing I don’t have fresh. I start by sauteing onion and garlic (or onion garlic and ginger for a curry) and build from there.
This is the second soup recipe I’ve seen in the past 24 hours suggesting to use celery leaves. I always save them to make homemade stock but never thought to just throw them into the soup. Good stem-to-root tip! Apple and butternut squash (about which I personally have unmixed, very positive feelings) sounds like a great winter combo.
I always just eat them, even if I’m putting celery in salad. The leaves taste good to me cooked or raw 🙂 But I eat a lot of stuff raw that’s not typical, so it might just be me. But I totally agree with Mary Kate’s use of the leaves in the actual soup.
I always mean to use the leaves, but half the time I forget they are in the back of the fridge. Being able to throw them right in soup works so well for the forgetful.