Sunday, January 21, 2018

Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

Every now and then I try a recipe with no expectations and it shocks me with its deliciousness.  I had no idea what to expect with this soup - I am a lover of soups, but usually they are thick and filled with chunky veggies and meat and pasta or rice.  This one fell far from my typical choice, but I happened to have the ingredients on hand and no plans for lunch on a Saturday.  I threw the veggies in the oven while I was doing my usual Saturday morning cleaning and finished it up at lunchtime.  When I took that first spoonful, I was shocked at how amazing it was.  I finished that bowl.  And then another.  My kids were skeptical at first, but they did the same.

  • 1 medium acorn squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 medium tart cooking apples (Granny Smith, Greening or Haralson), peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth (4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Cut squash in half; remove seeds and fibers. Place squash, cut sides up, in rectangular pan, 13 x 9 x 2 inches. Pour water into pan until 1/4 inch deep. Bake uncovered about 40 minutes or until tender. Cool; remove pulp from rind and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion in butter 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in apples, thyme and basil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes.
  3. Remove 1 cup apples with slotted spoon; set aside. Place one-third of the remaining apple mixture and squash in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth; pour into bowl. Continue to blend in small batches until all the soup is pureed.
  4. Return blended mixture and 1 cup reserved apples to saucepan. Stir in half-and- half, nutmeg, salt and pepper; heat until hot.

Difficulty: easy
Time: about an hour and 20 minutes, though much of it is hands off