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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Roasted apple and butternut squash soup



The recent cool mornings are making me re-evaluate summer as my favorite season, fall is quickly gaining momentum and I am loving it. In addition to cooler weather and beautiful foliage, fall also brings apple season. Apples happen to be one of my favorite fruits to cook with, in the past I’ve featured apple crisp and my first apple pie on the blog. Walmart is featuring all different types of apples now and I have my choice of varieties ranging from lady, to honey crisp (love them) and of course granny smith and delicious. 



I decided to try a new recipe with apples and found the perfect one - roasted apple and winter squash soup. Nothing makes me happier than a nice warm bowl of soup on a cool day. It makes a great meal and the recipe I chose is non-dairy so I don’t have to worry about my lactose intolerance. The thing I really like about this soup is that it only has a few vegetables. The most labor intensive aspect is the peeling and chopping with took about an hour.


A few simple ingredients make one incredible soup! 




For this recipe I decided to use two types of apples, lady and granny smith. They are great for baking and I thought they’d  be great in a savory yet sweet soup. I paired the apples with butternut squash (you can make this recipe with choice of squash) it is my favorite and pretty easy to peel which is a consideration for me when cooking.  I also like acorn squash but they generally are harder to peel and you need more than one. I personally didn’t want the headache!



To peel the squash I cut it into quarters, cleaned out the seeds and then peeled it. I used an oxo peeler and it was simple to do, just like peeling an apple! I then cut it into 1 inch pieces. I then cut the apples, peeled the garlic, cut the onion into fourths,  minced the fresh rosemary and gathered the thyme. 


Pause. I absolutely LOVE rosemary and thyme. These herbs remind of the holidays, I always use them to season turkey and this year I will be eating my Thanksgiving for the very first time! Although I cook turkey almost annually, I have never tasted my bird because I stopped eating poultry as a teenager before I started cooking. But this year, I am looking forward to tasting my turkey. Okay, back to the recipe.



I placed all of the fruit and veggies in a bowl, topped with olive oil and added the fresh herbs, allspice and salt. Next, I baked everything on parchment paper at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
I removed it from the oven and placed it directly in my blender with unsalted vegetable broth and pureed. I don’t have a food processor but the blender worked just fine. I think my next purchase will be an immersion blender because I’ll be able to puree my soups right in the pan.


I placed the soup in a large pan and warmed it up just a little, it is thick which I personally like but if  you want a thinner soup you can add more broth or water. Now the most important part, how does it taste? Absolutely DELICIOUS! Unlike my usual recipe making, this time I pretty much totally followed the recipe. However, I did add an extra half apple because my squash was over the 3 pounds that was called for in the recipe. This soup caused a taste explosion in my mouth. The herbs, vegetables, squash and of course the apples came together perfectly! This is one soup I will be making over and over again. I might even make it for Thanksgiving.


Roasted apple and winter squash soup


3 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch piece
2 medium sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4 cups unsalted vegetable broth
Garnish
1 medium sweet-tart apple
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, combine the squash, apples, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme, and allspice. Spread the vegetables/fruit on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast, turning once, until tender, about 40 minutes.
Puree the roasted vegetables/fruit with the vegetable broth. If using an immersion blender, this may be done in a large pot. If using a food processor, this may be done in batches, transferring the puree to a large pot as you go along.
Place the pot over medium heat and simmer until warmed through. If a thinner consistency is desired, add water or more broth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
To serve, garnish with thinly sliced or diced apples. (Sliced apples may be pan-fried in a little butter or olive oil until golden.)






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