Fall, autumn vegetables, cool days and warm blankets. Soup summons comfort and happiness not only for our palates and stomachs but also for our soul.
Butternut squash is a slippery devil to peel, but go ahead and peel, seed and cube the whole thing. Peel and chop in similar sizes your carrot, potato, apple and onion. In your favorite soup pot – I like to use my large Dutch oven – sauté your squash, potato and carrot in a stick of butter until heated through. When it looks like the sides of your hard veggies are softening, it’s time to add your onion and apple. Stir and soften. Add your salt and pepper. Throw in your sprig of rosemary, bay leaf – do yourself a favor and count them so you can remove the same amount later – and pour cold fresh water to completely cover the top of your vegetables. Bring to a boil, stir cover and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until everything is fork soft – soft and not al dente.
Remove from heat.
Remove your bay leaf and rosemary. That reminds me of another mistake I made – not removing the bay leaf results in shards of bay in your puréed soup which can only be salvaged by a cheese cloth & sieve straining of your soup.
So, remove your herbs, and batch by batch and purée using your favorite puree-ing tool. I love, capital L, my immersion blender. If you’re using a blender, use a towel to hold the lid and don’t overfill your blender as you might burn yourself. Once all your soup is blended, return your soup with a ladle through a strainer into your clean soup pot. This removes any strands or unprocessed bits and leaves you with velvety soup. Under medium heat add your cream and stir. Add your sherry and stir. Do not bring back to a boil at this point but do heat it through. Taste your homemade masterpiece and touch up the salt and pepper.
You can leave out the rosemary and it’s just as nice. Also, straining your soup leaves you with a more refined soup but un-strained soup is more rustic and has it’s purpose.
I like to serve this with buttered, toasted rustic ciabatta or any crusty bread. Cheese with buttered toast on the side is lovely as well.
I’ve been known to put a dollop of sour cream on top as well. Sliced chives sprinkled on your soup makes this very pretty.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 apple cored, peeled and quartered
2-3 large carrots, peeled and chopped in large pieces
1 very large russet potato or it’s equivalent
1/4 cup (or so) sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
3-4 fresh bay leaves
variations; I’ve used ginger also and it’s wonderful in this soup.