Soup's On!

It only takes one day of Sweater Weather for me to yearn in earnest for soup. And this year, just as I was midst yearn, my friend, and intrepid B&V reader, Erin, tells me about a new soup she's making for her Noonday party.

So, per our new rules, I'll write out recipe details, including a printable version, and then I'll get to photos, plus a long discussion of my feelings whilst I made this soup.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

(If you click the above, you'll get a word doc you can print)

Lemon Cream:

½ cup crème Fraiche (Erin uses Greek yogurt)

½ tsp lemon zest, grated

1 ½ Tbl fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Crispy Sage Leaves:

2 Tbl butter

10 fresh sage leaves

Salt for sprinkling

Soup:

1 stick of butter

2 lbs. butternut squash , peeled, seeded, cubed

1 yellow onion

2 green apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

6 fresh sage leaves

4 cups chicken broth

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbl kosher salt

½ cup heavy cream

To prepare the lemon cream, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until blended. Set aside.

To prepare the crispy sale leaves, melt butter in a pan over medium heat, until it foams. Add the sage leaves and saute until they’re crisp, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leaves to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle the leaves lightly with salt and break them into smaller pieces. Set aside.

For the soup: in a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat until it turns a light brown. Stir in the squash, onion, apples, and fresh sage leaves. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables and apples are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the broth, vinegar, and salt, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cream. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender till smooth. Or use an emulsifier if you’ve got one. Return to pot to keep warm.

Ladle hot soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a swirl of lemon crème and a sprinkling of sage leaves.

So, I'm not sure why, but as soon as cooler weather hits, I become obsessed with butternut squash. There is no rational explanation, but it's something akin to how other people go ga-ga for pumpkin lattes. Tho' I would draw the line at a butternut squash coffee product. Because that would be nasty.

The only reason this recipe and others of its kind are accessible to me is because you can buy this ridiculously hard gourd already chopped and peeled. Erin does that on her own, insists it's no big deal and has all her fingers to prove it. But I'm certain I would lose a digit if I tried chopping and peeling on my own. Same for onion. I despise chopping onions - all the crying! No, thank you. I buy mine already chopped in the freezer section.

This soup came together in no time, and it is so delicious. I had some doubts about the Lemon Creme, and you could totally enjoy the soup without it, but it was my favorite part of the whole dish. And those crispy sage leaves were sensational.

Photos:

My feelings:

Supremely happy with this soup. And supremely thankful that I routinely ask weird questions, like, "What food are you serving at this party?" And supremely thrilled that Erin was happy to answer my question and send me her recipe.

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