By Catherine Haug, Dec 4, 2020; image, right, from Wikimedia CommonsBy Catherine Haug, Dec 4, 2020
I’m getting quite a collection of squash soup recipes, but this one sounds just too good to pass up. Especially because it uses Honeycrisp (or Gala) apples, and I have a Honeycrisp tree. And my favorite nuts: pecans!
See also: 1. Soups & Stocks Menu
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Pecans
I’ve adapted this recipe from one in our local paper, the Daily Interlake, Dec 2, 2020; the original recipe is by Linda Gassenheimer of the Tribune News Service (1).
Although the recipe is for butternut squash, you could use any sweet squash. It also uses shallots, but you can use sweet onions (such as Walla Walla onions), or leeks. Other flavor enhancing ingredients in the recipe include garlic; fresh or dried, ground ginger; and toasted pecans.
The original recipe uses pre-cut chunks of squash, rather than a whole squash, to serve 2. Butternut are large squashes, so if use one for this recipe, either increase the number of servings, or have other options in mind for using the remaining squash. I’ve adapted the original recipe to serve 4 (to use a whole squash), and I freeze half. I bake any remaining squash, cut into large serving-size cubes, to freeze for future use.
Ingredients and Equipment (to serve 4):
- 1½ Tbsp real olive oil or coconut oil
- about 4 shallots or other onion, sliced, to make 1 cup
- 6 – 8 cloves of garlic, minced to make 1 – 1½ Tbsp (amount depends on size of cloves; if they are really large, ¾″ diameter or more, start with only 4 cloves)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger root (or 1 – 1½ Tbsp ground ginger), but I highly recommend using fresh ginger root
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), to make about 8 cups of ¾ – 1″ cubes (without peel)
- 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable broth (see Soups & Stocks Menu for more recipes)
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg, or to taste (another option is mace)
- unrefined sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup or more pecan pieces (break pecan halves in half again)
- 1 – 2 Honeycrisp or Gala apples, diced
- heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 – 4 slices of whole grain baguette or other bread such as ciabatta or sourdough (4 slices if they are small; or cut 2 each in half)
- Large, heavy bottomed saucepan with lid OR 10″ – 12″ cast iron skillet/chicken fry pan and a large saucepan with lid
- Spoon for stirring
- Blender or immersion blender (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
- Ladle for serving
- Prep veggies:
- Slice shallots, onion, and/or leeks;
- Mince garlic cloves;
- Chop ginger root (if using);
- Peel squash and cu into ¾ – 1″ cubes.
- Prep pecans: Remove from shell and break each pecan into half, the break each half into half again.
- Cook: Heat oil in heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add prepped shallots/onion/leeks, garlic, ginger root (if using) and quash cubes. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add stock/broth and bring to a simmer; lower heat, cover with lid and simmer 15 minutes. Squash should be soft. Cook a few more minutes, if needed.
- Meanwhile, toast the pecan pieces and the baguette/bread.
- When soup is ready, add nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove soup to a blender and process until smooth; or you can use an immersion (hand-held) blender.
- Serve: Divide between 4 large bowls (or Mason jars for storage)
- Swirl cream onto soup in bowls, and sprinkle pecans and apples on top.
- Serve with toasted baguette/bread.
Not yet tested