Winter Squash Soup with Apples + Crème Fraîche

• 20 November 2012

This autumnal potage converted my husband to squash soup, something he previously didn't care for one bit, if you can believe it.  I love to make this for guests, as it's not only a crowd pleaser, but the soup can be made ahead of time; in fact, it will likely taste even better if you do!  It's also become a tradition to make and serve this soup on the eve of Thanksgiving or for a light lunch on Thanksgiving Day (this is when the make-ahead feature comes in handy).  The soup calls for a combination of my two favorite winter squashes--butternut and red kuri squash.  A combination so naturally good that even in the French markets, you'll find these two squashes side-by-side :)

Click on "read more" to view my recipe for Winter Squash Soup with Créme Fraîche + Apples.  Enjoy!
You’ll want about 3 lbs total of squash for this recipe. If you absolutely cannot find kuri squash, you may use only butternut squash for the soup.  However, the flavor will be slightly different as well as the color (neither or which are bad things per se). Can be doubled, which I highly recommend!  You can find kuri squash at farmer’s markets and also at nicer grocery stores like Whole Foods.  Crème fraîche can be picked up at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and fine food markets.

Winter Squash Soup with Apples (adapted from Bon Appétit)
1 red kuri squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into approximately 1 inch cubes
1 small butternut squash
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
48 ounces organic chicken stock (or homemade)
3/4 teaspoon dried sage
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon coarse gray salt 
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped (any crisp apple will do)
1 small lemon
1/4 cup crème fraîche

For soup: 
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes making sure the garlic is not overcooked.  Then, add the broth, squash and dried herbs, making sure to just barely cover the squash with stock.  Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender or with an immersion blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to slight simmer. Season with gray salt and a little fresh ground pepper.
p.s. as a reminder, this soup can be made up to 1 day ahead.  Be sure to cool the soup before chilling in the fridge.  Reheat on the stove before serving.

For the apple garnish: 
Peel and finely chop the apple. Place apples in a small bowl.  Squeeze fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the apples and toss to coat the apples evenly.  After serving up the soup into bowls, garnish each bowl with a spoonful of apples, a dollop of crème fraiche and a pinch of gray sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Enjoy!


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