This beauty was grown in our wonderful garden over the past summer and since then we’ve been saving it for the perfect winter day in which to make up a big batch of a delicious squash soup. Today is just that sort of day, so below you’ll find our favorite squash soup recipe. It can be made with almost any type of squash, but the real secret is the addition of a tart apple that balances out the squash’s sweetness. All of the ingredients can be adjusted to suit your preferences, but we’ve found this makes a nice balance for a silky soup that’s not too thick and gets even better the second day after the flavors have had a chance to really mingle and get to know one another… Hope you enjoy it!
Hubbard Squash and Apple Soup
TIME: 30 minutes, plus baking squash
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings
- 4 pounds’ worth Hubbard squash pieces (may be one to three pieces)
- Olive oil spray
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib of celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups good chicken stock
- 2 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 large sage leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish, if desired)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Pinch cayenne pepper and nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil, spray the foil with non-stick spray, add the squash (skin side-down), and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours (depending on the size of the squash pieces), or until the squash’s meat and skin are completely soft. (You can do this up to three days ahead, let the squash cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, then the onions, celery, and carrot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onions begin to soften.
Meanwhile, use a large spoon to scoop the flesh out of the squash pieces, then add them to the other vegetables, along with the chicken stock, apples, and sage, and a little more salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
Take the soup off the heat, stir in the maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg, and let cool for about 15 minutes (uncovered). Carefully puree until very smooth in multiple batches in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the heat, season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional syrup, cayenne or nutmeg, serve hot. We like to garnish the soup with chopped walnuts and plain organic yogurt… sour cream would also probably be nice.
My sewing project this week was inspired by a fantastic project by Jacquie over at Tallgrass Prarie Studio called Project Improv. She’s challenged anyone interestead to create a log cabin-ish improvisational project as well as one square to create a collaborative quilt (0r three or four – lots of people have signed up for the project!) that will then be donated to charity. How great is that? Anyway, I’ve got a couple projects in mind for my own improv creation, but haven’t quite settled on anything yet. So today I thought I would share with you my log cabin square that I’ll be sending off to Jacquie. I just love pink and orange together!