Thursday, January 08, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Smoked Cheddar

This soup was perfect for a light, Christmas day lunch. It’s beautiful with its combination of apples and smoked cheddar. I made the base soup (excluding the sautéed apples, cheddar, and chives) a couple days ahead of time, giving the flavor a chance to develop. This recipe made four good-sized servings. I was also quite generous with the smoked cheddar, doubling the amount in the recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Smoked Cheddar
adapted from Food & Wine


- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- A 1 3/4-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice (5 cups)
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 McIntosh apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/3 cup coarsely shredded smoked cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
- Chopped chives or thinly sliced sage leaves, for garnish


1) In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes.

2) Add the apple cider and cook until syrupy, about 3 minutes.

3) Add 1 of the chopped apples, the butternut squash, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 40 minutes.

4) In a blender, puree the soup in batches. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm. (At this point, you can put the soup in the fridge for a couple days).

5) Heat a medium skillet. Add the butter and 1 diced apple and cook over high heat until the apple is tender and golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, for taste (I didn’t).

6) Ladle the soup into warmed bowls.

7) Garnish with the smoked cheddar, sautéed apples and chives.

Photo by Julie Fay Ashborn

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