Tuesday, September 19
Does that sound delicious, or what? This soup was so easy, and the apple confit pushed it from ho hum, to "oh yum". Okay, that was cheesy, but this soup was great, it was ridiculously simple, and there's very little else to say about it. Make it. You will be so happy you did!
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Confit
From "Fields of Greens" by Annie Somerville
3 cups Light vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Medium Yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3 Tbsp Calvados (if you don't have Calvados, you could substitute white wine, but the flavor is wonderful, and you'll find a million other uses for it!)
4 lbs Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes (about 6 cups)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 McIntosh apples or other flavorful, not too tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
½ cup Apple Juice
½ cup Creme Fraiche, (I used Greek yogurt)
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and saute over medium heat until slightly caramelized, about 15 minutes, adding a little stock and scraping with a wooden spoon if they start to stick to the pan. Add 2 Tbsp of the Calvados, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the pan is almost dry.
Add the squash cubes and about a teaspoon of salt to the onions. Add just enough stock to barely cover the squash (about 2 cups); the squash quickly breaks down and releases its own liquid as it cooks. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is very soft.
Puree the soup in a blender or with a handheld immersion blender, and thin it with stock to reach the desired consistency. Return the soup to the stove and cook over low heat for 30 minutes to further develop the flavors.
While the soup is cooking, make the apple confit. Melt the butter in a medium-size saute pan and add the apples; saute over medium-high heat, stirring to coat them with the butter. When they're heated through, add the remaining Tbsp of Calvados and cook until the pan is almost dry. Add the apple juice, cover the pan, and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until soft; cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes to reduce the liquid. Mash the apples, making sure the confit retains some texture.
Stir half the confit into the soup, saving the rest to stir into each serving. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Add a spoonful of apple confit and a swirl of creme fraiche to each serving.
To make a wonderful meal, serve this soup with crusty sourdough bread, nutty, well-aged Gruyere cheese, and a salad of biter greens with toasted walnuts and walnut-oil vinaigrette.