Apple Squash Soup

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Apple Squash Soup

This is a perfect recipe. It freezes well and is just perfect as the days grow shorter and the fields slow in their growing season!

The flavors sweeten and develop over the following days with this soup.  I often use chicken stock when I am at home, but in my kitchen, we use vegetable stock to cover the full gamut of diets- omnivores, the vegans, the gluten-averse, etc. Here, at the Kitchen Porch, we make a stock from the skins of the roasted squash and throw in the apples. We then scoop off the skins, puree the stock and add in the roasted squash. This is flavor at its peak!

I will also add that we use 4 kinds of squash, 4-5 kinds of apples and sweet Vidalia onions. I believe that this brings out a terrific balance of many subtle flavors.  BUT- We don’t all have the luxury of using so many varieties and making 10 gallons at a time!

I share this so if you are not rushed, you can make this yourself, rather than using a box from the shelf.

Serves 10

One 3 to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash

4 apples

½ cup olive  oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 sage sprigs

1 cup thinly sliced (1/4-inch thick) leeks, white and light green parts only

1/2 cup thinly sliced (1/4-inch thick) carrots

1/2 cup thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick) shallots

1/2 cup thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick) onions

6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

8 cups vegetable stock, plus extra if necessary

Bouquet Garni made of 8 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs Italian parsley, 2 bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, all wrapped in a packet made of 2 green leek leaves

 

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a small baking sheet with or parchment.

(I do this as a habit in the kitchen to keep the pans cleaner)

Cut the squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds (or reserve and roast!)

Brush each half inside and out with olive oil. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of sage and thyme into each. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, or until completely tender. Cut the apples in half and remove the core. Oil, salt, pepper and roast the apples the same way on a separate baking sheet for about 30 minutes.

Remove the squash from the oven and let cool, then scoop out and reserve the flesh (remove the  sage).

Add the remaining oil to a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots, and onions. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, maple syrup, the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until all the vegetable are tender. Add the roasted squash and apples then simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and puree. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.

We serve this with fried sage leaves and a bit of sage oil.

To make sage oil and fried leaves:

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a small skillet. When the oil is very hot, add the sage and cook for 30 to 45 seconds, turning the leaves to crisp them on both sides. When the bubbling stops, the moisture in the leaves will have evaporated and the leaves will be crisp. Drain the sage on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. We reserve the oil and squeeze it on the soup with the fried sage leaves just before serving.

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