Admittedly, apples take the back seat in this dish, but add a wonderful, slightly sweet flavor and definitely enhance the texture. This recipe proves that apples can be quite versatile. Also, I knew I couldn’t just make apple desserts (I’m thinking cobbler, crisp, pie, turnovers) if I wanted to continue eating balanced meals.
A quick note about the original recipe—the original calls for the inclusion of 1/2 cup wild rice. When I made the recipe for the first time, I made the wild rice but did not put it in the main batch of soup. Instead, when I had my own bowl, I mixed a little of the wild rice with the soup. I found that this soup is really amazing on its own and perhaps too thick with the addition of the wild rice. So do what you wish and include the wild rice or not.
Either way, this recipe is straightforward, simple, delicious, and healthy. It is a little time-consuming, so if you’re short on time and feel like it, go ahead and make this soup on the weekend. It should keep in your refrigerator for several days.
Butternut Squash Soup with Apples
Adapted from SippitySup
1 butternut squash, 1 1/2-2 pounds
4 tablespoons whole almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 potato, peeled and diced (or several small potatoes in my case)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
black pepper, to taste
2 sprigs thyme
1 cup wild rice
2 apples, cored and coarsely chopped into 1/2 inch dice
4-5 cups vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and strings. Place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until soft and fragrant, approximately 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of the squash).
Remove from oven and cool a bit before scooping out the flesh into a bowl. Set bowl aside and discard skins.
Using a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the squash, potato, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring until the vegetables are well coated.
Add about 3 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth to the pot along with the thyme. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool a little. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the mixture. After you do this, add the remaining 1/2 cup vegetable stock (or more if you prefer a thinner texture) and re-heat the soup over medium heat.
To make apple and almond garnish:
Set the oven temp to 350°F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet; toast until fragrant, shaking the pan once or twice, for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a sauté pan. Add the apple and cook without disturbing until slightly brown and soft, approximately 3 minutes.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with apples and almonds.