Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And Visions of Butternut Squash Dance Through My Head

We have it so bad here - still hitting 80plusF during the day and dropping to the mid sixties at night and I'm craving cold, fall, crisp air, winter's chill.  I want soup weather!

I came back from the farmers' market Sunday with  Hatch Chile Ristras, local apples and butternut squash - soup definitely on my mind so heat or not, I made a very simple, very flavorful soup to lull me into thinking leaves will soon fall, the duvet can come out of storage and I can wear sweaters.  Did not go so far as to put the AC on to create a chill but I did open all the doors and windows to let the cooler evening air in.

I thought about incorporating some of the fresh chile but decided instead to go for the purity of root vegetable flavor, tarted up so to speak with the apple. This colorful, flavor rich, low calorie soup is a snap to make.  If you want to avoid battling a *butternut squash buy the pre-cubed packs from the vegetable section at your grocery store. All amounts are approximate. ** The smoked paprika gives a lovely mellow flavor to the soup but if you don't have any, substitute ground coriander.  If you use already chopped squash, this takes less than 5 minutes to prep.

 Sinfully Rich, No Guilt Butternut Squash Soup
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS butter
  • About 1/2 Cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 large, crisp, tart apple cored and sliced
  • 1 sweet potato cut into chunks ( a Cup plus)
  • Around 4 Cups of chunked butternut squash *
  • 32 oz. of low sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet, smoked paprika**
  • Maldon Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy bottomed stock pan. Saute the onion over low heat until limp and translucent (about  8-10 minutes) Add the paprika and stir into the onions. Add the vegetables and apple, stir to mix. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the vegatbles are very tender - about 20 minutes.
Use a hand-held immersion blender to pure the soup to a creamy, lump free consistency. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 4 main dish servings and 6 starter servings.

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