Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider CreamPin It
This is a favorite recipe from Epicurious.com that I have cooked for years. Each Fall when butternut squash are abundant, I make a huge batch of this soup and freeze about a half-dozen gallon sized ziploks of the stuff to get us through the Winter. The recipe calls for a little cream which can certainly be eliminated if you are trying to watch such things. When I make this, I do not add the cream prior to freezing, but will swirl a bit into the soup after it has thawed and been reheated. This allows me to serve some without if someone requests it that way. The drizzle of cider cream on top at service is a delicious touch, one I recommend you NOT skip unless you really must.
This year I got my squash from my guitar teacher, who, much to his surprise, found a bevy of the beauties growing out of his compost pile behind his garage! How cool is that?
Peyton joined me in the kitchen to wash, cut and chop the leeks, apples and squash. She also helped manage the cooking process. I saved my strength for the rather lengthy (especially if you make a monster batch like we did) process of blending and straining the soup.
Try this with an aged cheddar and sliced apple grilled cheese sandwich!
5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, purée soup in blender, then pass through a fine meshed sieve into a clean pan, to remove any lumps.
Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer. Mix in whipping cream. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives.