A simple, seasonal, sensational soup.
Maybe I’ve been inhaling too much pumpkin spice candle, but I felt a change the air this week. I’m choosing slippers over sandals, and long sleeves over t-shirts, and soups over salads.
Finally! It’s soup weather!
Whenever I make this roast butternut and apple soup I’m reminded of lazy autumn afternoons sipping a mug of this velvety, creamy soup enjoying the waning days of sunshine and scarlet leaves in my backyard.
Sigh . . .
Butternut squash and apples are in season and on sale (cheap!) this time of year.
Butternut squash is such a versatile veggie; I love having it in the house. It can be sweet or savory, goes in casseroles, makes a lovely side dish and can be the star of the show if you halve it and roast it. So beautiful on the plate but pretty enough to double as a centerpiece on the table.
But my absolute favorite way to serve this squash is in soup. I adore the hint of sweet when you add apple to this savory squash soup. But it has just a little heat which gives it a sophisticated flavor and keeps it from resembling baby food.
The sage Parmesan crisps are divine to dip and add a little crunch. A small side salad is all you need to make this a beautiful meal for entertaining. If you like a bit more protein you can add crumbled bacon or sausage to the soup or switch the crisps for grilled cheese sandwiches.
In the photo I dotted the soup with a little heavy cream and crispy fried sage leaves.
I first saw fried sage leaves about 15 years ago when Bob and I went to Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in Hollywood. It was such a splurge! We were on a budget so I had an appetizer portion of butternut squash ravioli and it was served with fried sage leaves. Such a beautiful addition to the simple plate. Color, texture and taste. I never forgot it. Happy to use it here.
Not only pretty, but delicious!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP
What You’ll Need:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion – chopped – about 1 ½ cups
- 3 to 4 pounds’ butternut squash – peeled, seeded and cubed
- 3 medium Gala apples – or apple of your choice – peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric – optional but highly recommended
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper – start with ⅛ and dial it up to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup heavy cream
Want to know how to to prepare your squash?
- In a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil on low. Add the onions and cook slowly, stirring frequently, until quite soft. Try not to brown them.
- Meanwhile; prepare the squash and apple. When the onions are soft, add the squash, apple and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the squash is very soft – 20 to 40 minutes depending on how big you cubed your squash.
- This is a good time to make the crisps – recipe below.
- When the squash and apple are very soft, puree with either an immersion (stick) blender. Or let the soup cool and puree in batches in a blender then return soup to pot once pureed. Add the seasonings and cream, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.
One of the best investments I’ve made is this immersion blender – it makes blending soups a snap and whips up whipped cream in a flash. Easy to clean, too – Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75BC 200 Watt 2 Speed Hand Blender (Brushed Chrome)
FRIED SAGE LEAVES
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small pan, add sage leaves (found with fresh herbs in the produce department) a few at a time. Let them sizzle for about 10 seconds and remove with a fork. Drain on paper towels. Use the sage infused oil to make the crisps.
Diva Tip – save the stems to add to stock. Especially good in chicken or turkey stock so freeze them until November.
SAGE PARMESAN CRISPS
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (or use the remaining sage oil from above) add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Heat until the garlic is fragrant.
- Brush the oil on thin slices of French bread or baguette. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and crushed fried sage leaves.
- Garnish each crisp with a large sage leaf.
- Bake for 5 to 8 minutes (depending on how thinly you slice the bread) until bread is toasted and crisp. Make extra because they disappear.
I hope you’ll enjoy this soup combo this autumn but please know, it’s good for all seasons! It’s also good chilled! It’s so versatile, enjoy!!!
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