Easy Butternut Squash Apple Soup

After the festive abundance and chaos of the holidays, January is a time to celebrate emptiness. Naked trees, unburdened by heavy clusters of leaves and fruit; fields resting in a barren state, while nature quietly replenishes.

I think about how to do the same, even while filling myself up on resolutions, affirmations, and goals for the year ahead. I start each year with the best of intentions: to fill my life only with things truly meaningful to me.

A weekly yoga class with a favorite teacher.

Morning hikes in the quiet, new day to listen to nature.

A weekly forage at the local Farmer’s Markets.

A nice start, I’ll think. But, then I want to add a little more to the mix. So I add a ¼ cup of volunteer projects. Oops, the phone just rang, make that ½ cup. Two handfuls of freshly squeezed friends, family and loved ones, and a pinch of reading, which of course leads to a book club, and hey I’d love to host the next one at my house.

As I start to slowly mix, correcting the seasoning with a dash of language and writing classes, it becomes clear that the bowl is far too small for everything I’m piling in. Ingredients spill over; the mixture is lumpy; and I end up with an unappealing mess. How did this happen, again?

By thinking more is better.

And sometimes it is. Life, like most recipes, is more than just one or two ingredients. But the secret with both is to know when to stop.

A great example is my butternut squash soup. It was the first winter soup I made, and through the years it evolved from a soup of 12 ingredients that took a couple hours to make, to my newest version of seven ingredients, including the water and seasoning.

The pure flavors of this largely unadorned soup reveals how the multiple layers of my former versions muted the butternut. I’m a big fan of layering flavor, but this soup is a shining butternut squash solo versus a symphony.  A soup where restraint creates that perfect balance of abundant flavor unmuted by surrounding noise.

Now If I could just figure out how to do that in life.

 

Linked to the Winter Soup Blog Hop! Go visit the site to see other great winter soups and learn about their Quaker Giveaway!

january-blog-hop-and-giveaway-favorite-winter-soup-recipes.gif

 

Easy butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Cook’s Notes:

  • It’s important to roast the squash past the tender stage into a slight caramelization, to bring up the natural sweetness of the squash. This contributes to the fabulous squash flavor of the soup.
  • An immersible blender can be used to puree the soup, but it likely achieve the smooth texture that’s possible with a counter-top blender.
  • When using a blender to puree soup, never fill the container more than half way with hot liquid; one-third full is best. Trust me.

Ingredients…

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste

Making It…

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Slice off the top and bottom from the butternut squash; slice in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Peel the squash with a potato peeler, and chop the squash into 1″ cubes. Toss in a little olive oil, lightly salt and spread on a baking sheet. Roast until very, very soft and lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat and cook until lightly browned. Lower the heat and add the remaining olive oil and the onion. Saute until the onion begins to caramelize – about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, water, apple cider, and salt to the pot, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes to mingle the flavors.
  4. Pour the soup into a blender and puree to a smooth, silky soup. See Cook’s Notes for tips.
  5. Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and reheat. Correct seasoning if needed before serving.
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20 Responses to “Simplifying Life and Butternut Squash-Apple Soup” Subscribe

  1. LiztheChef January 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    I love your enthusiasm and so admire what you are doing with your energy-infused blog. Maybe I should order that new camera. After all, tomorrow is my traditionally lucky day, Friday the 13th, going back to high school when the drummer of the hottest band danced with me during their break.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      Get that camera, Liz! And get it tomorrow – you won’t be sorry. I’ve taken so many photos hiking in Yosemite today, it’s just opened a whole new world to explore. And if the drummer of the hottest band singled you out on Friday the 13th, you have an obligation to go do something a little wild. Get the camera!!! Hope tomorrow is a fabulous day for you :-)

  2. Rita Held January 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Lovely writing! Tasty-sounding soup, Susan. 2012 is off to a good start!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      Thanks Rita!! I really appreciate it. I hope you try the soup – soooo good and butternutty :-) Are you going to the AGM?

  3. Ms. T January 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Beautiful post. So true, so true. I want to eat every word. Happy new year!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      Thanks Tiffany! Writing is one of the things I’m really focusing on in 2012 – I enjoy it so much. Happy New Year to you too!! I wave at your house everyday when I zip by :-)

  4. Carol Sacks January 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Lovely post and the soup looks divine!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      Thanks Carol!! I really appreciate it. The soup is really, really good – even my husband, who craves beef with everything, raved about it.

  5. maurine January 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Love your writing and love the recipe. I can SO relate! the mixing bowl does fill up quickly in spite of our efforts to keep it simple…thanks for sharing!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

      Hey thanks, Maurine! I really appreciate it. This is SO my life. It’s just crazy sometimes. But at least we both have a lot going on to keep us interested and engage in life :-)

  6. Rosa Rajkovic January 13, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Great job, Susan! The writing is tight and the recipe is well written. I can’t wait for your next post.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 13, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      Thanks Rosa! I can’t wait to see your blog when you get all registered. I LOVE your writing – I’m so glad we’re in the same writing group again!

  7. Lynda January 13, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    So nicely put. Here’s to simplicity and enjoying the moment. Happy New Year!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 13, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      Thanks Lynda! Yes, no matter how remote it feels at times :-) Happy New Year to you too!

  8. Winnie January 14, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    I hear you on the simplifying. I am trying to do that in all areas of my life, as well ;)
    This is a beautiful soup- I wish you all best in 2012!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 14, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      I wish you much luck on the simplifying! Thanks much – and I wish you all the best in 2012 too!! I hope we get a chance to meet someday! I feel like I’ve known you for years :-)

  9. Matt @ FaveDiets January 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    This soup looks great! I would love it if you linked up this recipe to my blog hop for a chance to win a Quaker prize package: http://bit.ly/AeIHc6

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian January 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

      Thanks so much, Matt. Not sure I really have a chance to win at this late date, but thanks so much for the invite! I did go ahead and post it on your site!

      • Matt @ FaveDiets January 17, 2012 at 6:03 am #

        Thanks for linking up! And you never know what will happen over the next few days :)

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  1. Butternut Squash-Apple Soup- SRC | I am a Honey Bee - October 28, 2013

    [...] the recipe for me to make for this month’s SRC post. He was thinking fall when he picked the Butternut Squash-Apple Soup. I’m so glad that he did because we had a monster of a butternut squash sitting on our [...]

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