HOW could it be that I’ve not run a recipe for squash soup over the past (almost 3!) years? I’m shocked. Gobsmacked, even.
In one of my recent Swerve stories, executive Chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro of Capo in Inglewood shared his recipe, which captures the essence of fall in a bowl with sage, apples and maple syrup. Having always defaulted to a curried version, I thought his was wonderful, allowing the flavour of the squash to shine through. I was lucky enough to hit the jackpot today in my game of freezer Roulette – the unmarked yogurt container I extracted contained this soup.
Butternut is often used for soups because of its mellow flavour, smooth texture and easy-to-peel exterior, but feel free to experiment with other winter squash. This soup freezes well, so is perfect to make in large batches to stash away for mealtime emergencies. You could swap the heavy cream for half & half, evaporated milk or even plain yogurt – just make sure the lighter creams don’t get too hot, or they tend to separate. Stir it in at the end and it should gently warm through. I spooned some plain Greek yogurt into a zip-lock bag, snipped off a corner and squeezed it overtop – don’t it look purdy? I posted another squash soup recipe over at the Family Kitchen – this one from a new book – The Comfort of Apples, by chefs Philip and Lauren Rubin. It incorporates carrots, and they suggest you put toasted walnuts and soft goat cheese in the bottom of the bowl before ladling the hot soup overtop. Yes please.
Chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro’s Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium butternut squash
1 royal gala or pink lady apple
1/4 cup butter
1 900-mL carton chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp. dried sage leaves, crumbled
Generous pinches cinnamon and salt
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
Peel squash. (Microwaving one whole squash at a time on high for 2 minutes makes peeling easier.) Cut in half and discard seeds. Chop into small pieces. Finely chop onion. Peel apple, then thinly slice.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and apple. Cook, stirring often, until onion begins to soften; about 5 minutes. Add broth, cream, squash, sage, cinnamon and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered and stirring often until squash is very tender, from 20 to 25 min.
Ladle about 1/3 of soup into a blender and whirl until puréed. Pour through a sieve, using the back of a ladle to press soup into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining soup. Pour strained soup back into saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir in maple syrup and add more broth or water if it needs to be thinned. Stir until hot.
Ladle into bowls and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream or sour cream and slivers of apple, if you wish. Soup will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. Makes about 9 cups.