My husband was under the weather last week, and weakly pleaded for this soup from underneath a mountain of quilts one afternoon. I nearly fainted. He wasn’t begging for a burger or ice cream topped with hot fudge. He was requesting, sit down for it, a vegetable based soup. That’s when I realized just how sick he was. He was hallucinating that he wanted vegetables.
I didn’t waste any time, and set out to make this one I posted on my blog a few years ago. I love how the apple cider brightens the squash, and had some thoughts to update the photo in the back of my mind.
But while the squash, onion, and broth were doing a slow rumba on the stove in my favorite Le Creuset pot, I spied a little container of crème fraîche in the refrigerator. I pulled it out, and could already taste it in the soup. I scooped out a heaping spoon of lusciousness, and streaked it though the soup, thanking the kitchen gods for this unexpected gift.
In no time at all, it was done. And in not much more time, it was all gone. The meat eater had downed two bowls!
To peel the butternut squash, first whack off the top and bottom of the squash with a sharp chef’s knife. Slice the squash in half, across its width, just above where its body expands, and slice each half in half again, this time lengthwise. A potato peeler is perfect for removing the tough outer skin, and a spoon makes quick work of removing the seeds and pulp. Then just cube it, using the chef’s knife.
If you want to reserve the seeds for roasting, they can be slippery little devils to untangle from the pulp. Just fill a bowl with water and plop in the pulp. Removing the seeds while everything is submerged is much easier.
I used packaged roasted chickpeas with Bombay spicing for speed. You can find them in your store where they display snacks.
A confetti of cracked roasted chickpeas or roasted hazelnuts adds a nut crunch and nutty flavor.
This is a great soup to serve as soup shooter appetizers! Just ladle into each small glass and top with the chickpeas or hazelnuts.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 cups 1-inch cubed butternut squash (1 large squash)
- 2 cups diced yellow onion
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 -3 tablespoons crème fraîche
- Cracked spicy roasted chickpeas or hazelnuts (optional topping)
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, warm the oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash and onion and sauté until the onion softens – about 10 minutes. Pour in the broth and cider, and add the salt. Simmer until the squash becomes tender, about 15 minutes.
- Pour the soup into a blender and puree to a smooth, silky soup, and return to the pot. Gentle stir in the crème fraîche.
- For serving, crack open a few roasted chickpeas or hazelnuts to sprinkle over each bowl.
If you’re interested in more dishes with winter squash (including butternut), check out my Wimpy Vegetarian Winter Squash Board on Pinterest!