Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Versatile Squash Soup

Despite the fact that I rarely make the same thing twice, I have made this soup 5 times in the last few weeks. It is ridiculously easy to make. It satisfies those cool fall cravings. It pleases people who are vegan, vegetarian, lactose-intolerant or just want a simple and healthy meal. But you can also gussy it up with curry powder or pasta or even slices of browned sausage. You can eat it cold, warm or hot. It even freezes beautifully.
Versatile Squash Soup

Olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into small dice
2 shallots, chopped
2 apples, peeled and cut into small dice
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper

Optional: extra virgin olive oil, curry powder, nutmeg, sausage, aleppo or red pepper

Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large pot over medium heat. Saute the shallots for 4-5 minutes until they soften. Add the apples and saute for another few minutes. Then add the squash. Saute just to mix in with the shallots and apples. Pour the chicken stock over the mixture. When the soup boils, turn the heat down to low and simmer until the squash is tender. Carefully puree with an immersion blender.

Now, try the soup. You can keep it simple by adding salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on top. Add pasta to make it more substantial. I like slices of sausage that have been crisped in a skillet for protein. Curry powder changes the flavor completely, and would be perfect with any bread or a bowl of basmati rice. Last twist-make the same soup with pears.

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