Friday, December 12, 2014

NomNom: Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

One of the things that brings me joy is sharing recipes and having food related conversations amongst friends. The simple enjoyment and shared curiosity of eating good food together are one of the many things that brings my friends and I together.

When a couple of girlfriends and I were planning one of our good friend's bachelorette party several years ago, we asked the bride to be how she wanted to celebrate and she told us that she wanted to go to NYC for the weekend to simply eat at all the restaurants that was on her list. A trip based solely on eating good food with your gal pals? Done and done. While planning her party, my friends and I literally made a google map of all the food places she wanted to try so that we could optimize our time in the city. Because that's just how we roll when it comes to food, though I'm pretty sure we came back home 5 lbs heavier. Whatever.

Today's soup recipe loosely comes from a potluck my friend Mel hosted a month ago which was based around a Fall theme. Another friend, another food story;) She made this exceptionally awesome butternut squash soup which I basically fell in love with that night and after she shared the recipe and tweaking it a bit in my kitchen to make it exactly how I would imagine the best butternut squash soup to taste like, I give you today's perfect winter soup. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and spices after the addition of spice measurements I included to the recipe. Oh, and please don't skip the step with roasting the garlic head because...roasted garlic in olive oil. Enough said.

The simplicity of this recipe and the earthiness it yields is so worth making. A perfect way to nourish and warm the body during these cold winter days.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Yields: 6 servings)
2 lb butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 garlic head, halved crosswise
2 Tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable)
2 small bay leaves
freshly ground pepper, salt
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Rub cut garlic surfaces with olive oil and put halves back together to reassemble garlic head. Wrap tightly in foil, bake for 40 minutes (bake this with the squash).

2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40-45 minutes, 400 F. 

3. Meanwhile, in dutch oven or stockpot, melt butter. Add onion and cook until soft but not browned for about 10-13 minutes.

4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the peel. Cut the squash into large pieces and add to dutch oven along with sliced apples, broth, 2 tablespoons of sage, bay leaves, salt, pepper, curry powder, and nutmeg. Stir to combine and bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.

5. Meanwhile, unwrap garlic from foil. Squeeze from skin into bowl and discard skin. Mash in bowl with fork and stir into soup.

6. Using immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot until smooth. 

7. Garnish with pepper and remaining sage leaves, serve immediately.

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