Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Behold, my first homemade butternut squash soup - ever. Despite that fact that I adore butternut squash soup, I've never bothered to make it. Frankly, I was put off by the obvious task of pureeing the soup, usually in a blender and in multiple batches. I've seen my less lazy friends do it, and I simply couldn't be bothered. Who wants to deal with all that scooping and blending and pouring? The number of dishes I would have to dirty alone was enough to give me pause. Yeah, I'm lazy sometimes. We can't all be Julia Child every day. However, now that I have a handy-dandy immersion blender, this soup was a cinch. 

The first time I tasted butternut squash soup was in a little Irish restaurant up the street from Mom and Dad's house called Kate's at Milton Hill. My home town didn't really have restaurants, except for the much-loved local pizzeria and a small deli. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that we spent a lot of nights up at Kate's. There was a dining room as well as a small "pub" which eventually became our default dinner out. On nights when Mom had to work late, and even when she didn't, we would trek up to Kate's pub for some soups, sandwiches and a little Red Sox baseball. Katie's wasn't anything special, with its corny, Celtic stencils painted on the walls and the never-ending playlist of airy flutes and hearty fiddles, but it was relaxing, comfortable and close to home. To me, those are some of the same qualities that make up a good squash soup. Maybe it isn't the most remarkable thing I'll ever eat, but I always feel warm and happy having had it.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup 

Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2003

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
4 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 or 3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup apple cider
1 cup white wine
Greek yogurt

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, nutmeg and curry powder. Saute onions until they begin to brown. Add squash, apples, broth, cider and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 30 minutes, until squash and apples are tender. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth.* Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. 

*If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in a blender, pureeing a few cups at a time and transferring pureed soup to another bowl or container. When you have pureed all the soup, pour it back into your pot and simmer until the soup reaches your desired temperature. 

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