Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Tis the season to be jolly, and by jolly I mean full of heavy holiday dishes. I hope everyone survived Thanksgiving. I, for one, filled up on appetizers and now, while everyone else is begrudgingly finishing up their leftovers, I wish I had had more turkey.

So, now we look toward the next set of holidays, gearing up for more big meals. What is your family's traditional holiday feast? Although I grew up Jewish, I also celebrated Christmas on my father's side. His mother, a traditional Italian, made lasagna and meatballs for Christmas dinner. While basic, I look forward to it every year!

Even though it is now officially December, I'm not quite ready to give up on Fall yet, and there is probably not much time to make another one of my favorite dishes, so I will happily share it with you. Butternut squash and apple soup, recipe courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large)
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 5 pounds butternut squash (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups good apple cider or juice

Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.

Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Process the soup through a food mill fitted with a large blade, or puree it coarsely in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple cider or juice and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.


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