When I think of Fall, I think of the colors: rich golden yellows, burnt sienna-reds, deep pinks. It seems as if these colors appear everywhere — in the changing leaves, the beautiful sunsets, and (as I realized the other night while eating a pomegranate) in the food we eat!
When I think of cooking in this particular season, I think of soups and stews and all of those warming comfort foods that we avoid in the hot summers. One such ingredient is butternut squash. My butternut squash soup is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the tongue. It epitomizes that rich golden Fall yellow, and boasts a deep flavor to match. And you know how much I love some good deep flavors!
The soup is sweetened with apples (another autumnal delight), has some garlic and ginger for a little kick, add the smooth taste of the butternut squash, and you’ve achieved that unbeatable balance for your palate.
Making this soup also provided an opportunity to test out my new ISI Thermo Whip.
The Thermo Whip caught my eye at the Star Chefs Congress in September. I brought one home and had tons of fun experimenting with the various whipped creams, foams and sauces it can make. This soup has a Ginger Crème garnish, thickened and foamed by my trusty ISI Whip. What a beautiful thing!
- 2 small butternut squash (about 2 ½ pounds total)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 small Granny Smith apples (about 1 ¼ pounds), cored, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (optional)
- 2 Fresh sage for garnish
- 1/3 cup chilled whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon ginger juice (To extract the ginger juice: finely shred ginger on a grater. Then press it through a sieve or use a garlic press to extract the juice.)
- 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
- Line a jelly-roll pan with foil.
- Halve the squash lengthwise.
- Using a sharp metal spoon, scrape out and discard all the seeds and fibers.
- Lay the squash halves, cut sides down, on the jelly roll pan and bake them until they are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool.
- When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh, including any well-browned edges, out of the peels.
- Chop and reserve the flesh.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the apple, onion, ginger and garlic and cook uncovered, stirring once or twice until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock, reserved squash flesh, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Partially cover the pan and cook the soup, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Puree the soup in a food processor or blender.
- Serve with Ginger Cream and sage, or cool, cover and refrigerate.
- Place cream, ginger juice and agave into the ISI Whip. Charge. Shake and serve.
*The original blog was called Flavors in Love. All material has been transferred and some has been edited for easier reading, and archiving.