Is there anything more glorious than autumn? Not in my book, and I’m betting you feel the same way. The cooler weather makes me want to get something on the stove that’s fragrant and hearty and delicious, and my favorite at this time of year is Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Soup. So healthy, satisfying and easy to make! Ed and I grow our own organic butternut squash, onions, carrots and apples, so I get a deep sense of satisfaction in preparing this particular dish. We like to add some heat to ours because it complements the creamy soup, so I make mine with cayenne pepper but you can certainly omit that. Here’s what you’ll need:
Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Soup
1 large butternut squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled, cleaned and sliced
1 apple, peeled and diced
3 ribs of celery, cleaned and sliced
Carton of Chicken Broth
Low or full fat half and half
Salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and pulp (this is great to feed your chickens if you happen to have some). Place face down on a baking sheet which you’ve sprayed with cooking spray, covered with foil, then sprayed again. The spraying and foil help with clean up. Bake for one hour or until tender.
Let the squash cool until you’re able to handle it. Scrape out all that squash and discard the peel. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions, celery, apple and carrots. I like to cook them on pretty high heat, stirring very frequently, until they’re good and browned a bit. Turn down the heat and add the squash, along with the broth. Stir well. I add the spices here, salt and pepper for sure (about 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper), a tsp of paprika and, if you’re game, 1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper flakes. This will cook on low heat for about an hour or so, until all the vegetables are soft. Stir now and then to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Using a stick blender, blend the soup until it’s smooth. Here’s where I add the half and half, a bit at a time while blending, to thin the very thick soup and to add that wonderful creaminess.