in the kitchen: butternut squash and apple soup
This past week I've been going through the huge piles of recipes I've clipped from magazines for the past couple of years and have resolved to try at least two of them a week. If they're winners, they'll get a spot in my huge recipes binder. Here's one that made the cut!
It's from Cooking Light magazine, but it's certainly not lacking in yumminess. It's also very easy to put together, especially if you take advantage of the pre-chopped veggies in the produce section; sure, you pay a little extra for the convenience, but have you ever actually cut into a huge butternut squash? It's incredibly difficult to cut through that rind, and once you do, there's all those slippery seeds to deal with. And chopping onions doesn't just make me cry...my eyes literally burn and my vision becomes really blurry until the job's done (and I'm thinking blurry vision + sharp knife = BAD IDEA). :o)
I adapted it a little to include some chopped apple; I had seen that with another squash soup recipe and thought it sounded interesting. Here's my adapted version!
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
(adapted from Cooking Light)
1 tablespoon butter
3 1/2 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash (I used a 12-oz. bag of cubed squash from Walmart's produce section)
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped and peeled apple (I used Gala)
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the squash, carrot, onion, and apple; season with salt and pepper and saute for 12 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in half-and-half; add more seasoning if desired. Puree in blender in batches until it reaches a smooth consistency (remove center piece of blender lid to let steam escape, and place a towel over the opening when blending to prevent splattering). I used my immersion blender at this point. Love that thing.
This soup yields four servings, but they're a bit on the smallish side so doubling the recipe might be a good idea (soup always freezes really well so that's always an option if you have leftovers). The carrots and apples really accentuate the sweetness of the squash without being overpowering. I think the only thing I might try next time is maybe add a bay leaf to the mix while it's simmering on the stove to add another level of flavor. Perfectly delicious either way! :o)
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