This satisfying, full-bodied, flavourful soup, inspired by Bonnie Stern, can easily be tweaked to a version that fits your occasion and diet preferences . Keep it simple or jazz it up. Make it creamy and velvety or go for the lower fat version. Take a few shortcuts and it still tastes like a winner. Serve as a soup, a side dish in a small bowl sitting on the dinner plate or in a shot glass as a party appetizer (pictured below). Very adaptable! It’s a super easy recipe and always gets rave reviews. Total time: 50 min.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped (or 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced)
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 3-4 cups chicken broth (or 1 10-oz tin undiluted e.g. Campbell’s, plus water)
- 1 teaspoon, each chopped fresh thyme and rosemary (or 1/4 teaspoon each dried)
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and salt to taste (if you use undiluted chicken broth from a can, use less)
- 1/4-1/2 cup half and half cream, or milk
Heat oil in a medium or medium/large saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
Add apple, squash and potato. Stir and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add just enough broth to cover all the vegetables. Add seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is very soft.
Puree soup (I do it right in the pot with a hand-held electric food blender, but you can also do it in the food processor). The soup will be fairly thick as the potato acts as a thickening agent. Here’s where I add about 1/4-1/2 cup of half and half cream (or milk if you want to keep it lighter). Or, you can skip the dairy altogether and just add some water or broth to desired consistency if you find the soup too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. I often add a pinch of fresh or dried thyme. Serves 6-8.
shortcuts and substitutes
- After you saute the onions, just add the potato, squash, apple and seasonings into a pot and go from there (skip the extra saute).
- For butternut squash, many supermarkets now sell fresh squash peeled and cut into large pieces (cut in half if necessary). Trust me, it is well worth the extra cost! Squash is very hard to cut.
- For garlic (if using), use 1/2 teaspoon from the jar or 1 frozen garlic cube
- To make the recipe vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
jazz it up
- Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese
- Serve with homemade croutons
- Serve with parmesan wafers
- Serve in mini cups or shot glass (as an appetizer)
make ahead: yes, keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days. Make sure you don’t bring to boil when reheating or the cream will curdle.