Butternut Squash Soup
The apple will sweeten the soup a little, but you can add maple syrup if you want it sweeter. You can turn this into a cream soup by stirring in 1 cup of heavy cream after you've puréed the soup. Preheat the cream if you want to save yourself the step of needing to reheat the soup.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, thinly diced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 allspice berries
- 6 cups chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1 or 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Add the butter, onion, and celery to the slow cooker. Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook on high for 30 minutes or until the onions begin to soften or are transparent.
Add the diced squash (about 3 cups), apple, and cinnamon sticks.
Place the cloves and allspice in a muslin cooking bag or tie them inside a piece of cheesecloth; add to the slow cooker along with the broth, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the squash is tender.
Remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Taste for seasoning and adjust, adding maple syrup to taste if desired. Ladle into bowls. Grate fresh nutmeg to taste over each serving.
Easier Than Peeling and Dicing the Butternut Squash
Some supermarkets sell butternut squash that's already peeled and diced. Or, you can use a knife to pierce the squash several times, place it on a baking sheet, and bake it in a 350°F oven for an hour. Once it's cool enough to handle, cut it lengthwise. Scrape out and discard the seeds. Use a spoon to scrape the cooked flesh from the inside of the peel.