Only a few posts and one day left to go before we start “B”…
Before that I have some more yummy recipes to share with you, starting with this soup!
Once you get it in the pot it’s a cinch!
Let’s get started!
Peel 3 large onions, cut them in half and chop them, discard the ends:
Put a large dutch oven (or large pot) over low heat and add 2 TBSP each olive oil and butter.
When the butter has melted add in ALL your chopped onions and 2 TBSP Curry Powder.
Cook these uncovered, stirring well every few minutes, for 15-20 minutes until the onions have softened. I cooked mine 20 minutes or possibly a few minutes more:
In the meantime you can prep your butternut squash.
Now, I’ll be honest… I’ve only made this veggie a few times so I am no pro at peeling or chopping these.
When I buy them at the store I always think, “these look like fall decor for my house… not something we can eat”… but you CAN eat them! And I’m glad you can… they are DELICIOUS!!
Here’s how you peel them…
Stand the squash upright (cut off the bottom to create a flat surface if needed).
Use a sharp knife (a large serrated knife worked best for me) to slice along the side of the squash while steading it with your other hand. Once you have one strip of the skin off you’ll be able to work your knife right along the line of the skin so you don’t peel much flesh off with the skin.
Work your way all the way around the squash until all the skin is off. Then chop off the very top and bottom (if you haven’t already) before you move on.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and flesh.
Cut each half in half.
Then, each of those halves in half. You’ve basically cut each half of the gourd into fourths.
Holding the squash half in tact, turn it horizontally and chop the squash into chunks from right to left (or left to right if you are left-handed). I found it easier to start the chopping with the hollowed-out end. You’ll see why if you start with the other end… 🙂
I would suggest chopping your squash ahead of time. It takes a bit… especially if you’ve never done it before… and you don’t want to leave your onions on the stove softening while you try to rush and finish your squash and apple-chopping.
Now for the apples!
You need one and a half pounds of McIntosh apples (about 4 apples). Peel, quarter, core, and chop them into chunks about the same size as you did the butternut squash (so they’ll cook at about the same rate). I cut each apple quarter in half (making two wedges) and then cut each wedge into thirds.
Here’s the pictures:
Now comes the hard part: Add the butternut squash, apples, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot with the onions.
Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, cover it, then turn it to low heat and LET IT GO!
Simmer it for 30 to 40 minutes. Time to relax… (or get some dishes out of the way while you wait!)
When the squash and the apples are very soft you have a few options for pureeing the soup. You can either process it through a food mill or you can puree it coarsely in batches in a food processor. I don’t have a food mill so I should have used the food processor method to get the right consistency. I used a hand blender and I think it OVER pureed my soup a bit… but it was still good! 🙂
When you’re done processing or pureeing the soup, pour it back into the pot. Add 2 cups apple cider or juice and some water if the soup is still too thick for your liking. I found that the soup was on the thinner side (probably because I pureed it with a hand blender) so I didn’t even add the full two cups of apple cider! Try the soup before you serve it and add salt and/ or pepper to your liking. You want it to be a little sweet but add enough salt so it’s not too sweet for you!
Click here for the recipe for the soup.
1. This recipe makes a LOT (3 1/2 quarts) so, unless you’re serving a crowd, you’ll want to freeze some for later. We divided the soup in half and froze half in the freezer. Use QUART-size zip-top bags, label/date them, and store them FLAT in the freezer. If you use the gallon bags they will likely be too big for your pot when you go to open and defrost them! 🙂 To defrost the frozen soup simply put 1 bag or 2 bags in a large pot and add some water (it will evaporate as the soup defrosts and heats up (maybe 1/8-1/4 cup). Turn the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to defrost and warm up slowly.
2. We served our soup with an Apple, Spinach & Walnut Salad. Click here for that recipe.
3. We decided the soup needed something else after we had it the first time. It was good but we made it better by adding a big handful of shredded cheddar cheese (white or yellow) while reheating the leftovers. The cheese melted into the soup beautifully and we had mini grilled cheese sandwiches for dipping on the side. Click here for where I got that idea. Do NOT add cheese to the soup before freezing it!!! When you re-heat the frozen soup, wait until it has warmed up and THEN add the cheese!
4. Another idea is to add shredded rotisserie chicken to the soup (by itself or along with the cheese). You could still serve it with grilled cheese croutons or a salad and it would make it heartier, more complete meal.
5. This soup is SUPER healthy. Just one cup of butternut squash give you 145% of your Daily Value of beta-carotene and a third of your daily need of vitamin C. Beta-carotene is converted by your body into vitamin A. All these working together help your body’s immune system and strengthen your body’s natural defenses against getting sick! A bonus: It also hydrates your body (it is about 89% water!!)
6. HOW TO PICK A BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Choose squash that’s firm and heavy, has a dry, nonshiny rind, and is free of cracks or bruises. If the rind is shiny or easily nicked, it was picked too early.
7. HOW TO STORE A BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Keep whole squash in a cool, dry place (not the fridge) for up to three months; refrigerate cut squash wrapped in plastic for up to two weeks. This means you can do your squash chopping ahead of time! More prep means less work during cooking time!