Guest Author - Caitlin McLeod
I just love soups: they are so warming and nourishing, good comfort food. I have learned that hot soup can make a very nice breakfast, too. Whenever I’m in a natural foods store that makes its own soup, I always have to taste those that sound appealing; sometimes I’ll try to recreate the recipe at home. This is a fun adventure in cooking!
One of my favorite soups involves butternut squash and apples, a wonderful, delicate combination. I decided to use yogurt in place of the heavy cream called for, though you can certainly try the cream if you prefer a richer flavor. This soup turned out really delicious, and goes well with warm bread and butter or cheese, or maybe some nice rosemary crackers, if you prefer.
Butternut and Apple Soup
1.5 lbs. butternut squash (about 7 cups cut up)
4 Pink Lady (or other tart) apples (about 5 cups cut up)
8-10 oz. apple juice concentrate
1 large onion
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup vanilla yogurt (or heavy cream)
1-2 cups vegetable broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
salt & pepper to taste
1) Peel the squash and cut into small cubes. Place in a large pot, and add enough pure water to cover the squash. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender. Set aside to cool.
2) Peel, core, and quarter the apples. In another smaller pot, boil the apples in the apple juice, plus enough water to cover the apples. Simmer until tender. Set aside to cool.
3) While the vegetables are cooking, peel and dice the onion. Heat the oil in a skillet, then sauté the onions over medium heat until golden and tender.
4) When all the vegetables are cool, put the squash and apples into a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the larger pot. Process the onions until smooth and add to the pot, mixing well.
5) Add the yogurt, and put the pot on the stove to heat again over medium heat. Thin with vegetable broth to desired thickness. Season with thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. This makes a good entrée or serves as a first course to a more substantial meal.
Note: If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can substitute chicken broth. I like to use the boxed broths by Pacific Natural Foods, if I don’t have time to make my own.