I love soup in winter. It’s a perfect lunch. Add some crusty bread and a salad and it’s pretty satisfying dinner too. And it’s soooo easy!
This squash and apple recipe is from my friend Laura. I’ve had it a few times when I’ve been at her house for dinner and it’s so tasty and fragrant. I love the addition of the apple. I passed it on to my friend Hank, over at SustainMe, he added a few modifications and what I made is a combo of the two versions.
I love the look of roasted squash. I’m just not crazy about eating it! So soup is a good compromise… I get to roast it first, take photos of it all golden and orange-y and then make it into soup, which I do love. The addition of apples makes it a great winter soup – all the ingredients are very easy to find. And the cinnamon, curry and ginger make it smell divine!
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
My only concern here is the spices. Something was a bit off with my quantities I think. If you’re concerned, start with less than I’ve written here and sample as you cook. If you think it needs more, add more. It’s always easier to add than it is to realize you’ve used too much.
1 butternut squash (I used butternut and acorn) cut in half
1 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped fine
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cinnamon (I think I could have used a touch less than this)
dash of nutmeg
1 tbsp ginger (powdered – use less if you are using fresh ginger)
2 tsp curry powder or paste
4-6 cups of chicken stock (I used 5)
salt and pepper to taste
2 generous tbsps plain balkan yogurt or milk or half and half to taste (optional – it’s still good without these)
Brush the cut sides of the squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray cut side down and roast at 400F for about 40-45 minutes (until flesh is tender)
Meanwhile, prep the apples.
When the squash is ready, heat a large, heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add olive oil. When oil is warm, stir in chopped onion and apples. Stir until apple and onion start to soften and add in spices.
Remove squash from it’s shells and add to the apple mixture, continue stirring.
Add chicken stock and heat until the soup starts to bubble. Give it a taste and adjust your spices as needed. Remove from heat after it’s simmered for a few minutes.
Run small batches (a cup or so) through a blender until smooth and creamy looking.
If you plan to add yogurt, milk or half and half, return to pot and place on low heat. Add the dairy and stir for a few minutes until combined.
You can add a teaspoon of plain yogurt or cream to the bowl when serving if you wish!
This was really fun to shoot actually. The prep suited itself to shooting the different stages without taking all day. And I got to use my new red souffle bowls. (well actually I bought them back in September but I haven’t had a chance to really use them!)
Photo 1: 50mm, f3.2, 1/60th, ISO400, +2/3 exposure compensation.
Once again, my biggest challenge was finding light. Even with reflectors or mirrors… they only work if you have light in the first place! I’ll be so happy when spring gets here. The soup is lovely so I kept everything else simple and the white drop of yogurt adds a little extra interest and contrast while still keeping it clean and simple.
Photo 2: 50mm, f2.0, 1/40th, ISO400, no exposure compensation
I could have used a bigger f stop on this one – my depth of field is a bit too shallow. Bumping it up to 3.2 probably would have been perfect. But I love the colours.
Photo 3: 50mm, f2.0, 1/125th, ISO400, +2/3 exposure compensation.
This was back lit from the window and shot on a bit of an angle. I need to find a smaller table that I can move around to take advantage of the light better. One tip when shooting with apples – they can brown quite quickly once they’ve been cut up. If you can’t shoot them right away or need to take a lot of time setting up the shot, spritz them with a little lemon juice. The acid will stop the browning.