I was catching up with a friend last week. Of course, the conversation veered to food. ;) She was teasing me as she described all the baked goods she had made with her new Cuisinart. This didn’t surprise me as I know she is a fabulous baker, but what shocked me was that she told me that she doesn’t make soups. WHAT?!
I LOVE soups! They are easy to make, difficult to screw up, very tasty and usually healthy. I will concede that I rarely make my own stock (save Japanese dashi), but that doesn’t stop me from making delicious, flavourful soups.
I am sharing a soup I made this weekend with some of my favourite ingredients, including squash. I decided to combine my two favourite fall ingredients: squash and apples (those who know me well, know that I recently bought lots of both; on sale, of course!). It takes a bit of time to come together, but you can do other things as it roasts and simmers. The apple adds a bit of subtle tang to the warm, colourful squash base. I don’t like to make soups with cream; not from the taste (as it tastes great), rather due to cost and calories. I threw it in this soup because I had some lying around but extra stock would work out fine as well. Hopefully this is the beginning of many soups to come on the blog. :D
My inspiration for the soup came from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds. The soups are a bit heavy on the added cream, but this one piqued my interest.
Roasted Squash and Apple Soup
1 squash (about 2 lb), halved and seeded – I used buttercup
1 tbsp oil
1 leek, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
4-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup half-and-half (if omitted, add more stock)
1. Place squash on baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, cut side down. Roast at 425F for 45 minutes. Let cool, then scoop out flesh.
2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add leek and sweat, about 5-6 minutes. Add squash, apple, stock, bay leaf and nutmeg; bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes, until apple is soft.
3. Using an immersion blender, or in a blender in batches, puree soup until smooth. Add cream in a slow stream. Season with salt and pepper. Can thin with additional stock, if desired.