The origin & inspiration for this recipe holds both dear & significant personal meaning.
OK… that’s a mostly a lie. Actually, none of that is true.
Nothing too personally intriguing to share here. So, sorry to break the news. This post is limited in context only to the single greatest soup recipe that has ever been created, ever, in any kitchen on the face of God’s green Earth, upon any continent, by any chef living or deceased. Since the birth of Jesus. Or before the birth of Jesus.
OK… that’s mostly stretching the truth. Actually, that’s an incredible self-indulgent exaggeration based completely beyond the realm of factual justification… But, we live in Food Blogger World, right??! And, if a recipe posts to a food blog… The posted recipe shall forever. Be. Known. As. The. Best. Recipe. Ever. Created.
So, allow me tell you about the specific moment of inspiration for the Best Soup Recipe ever created by man. Or woman.
In the days following Thanksgiving, lights of Christmas were hung with care throughout the city, store fronts were decorated with holiday theme, & City Center Park was turned into it a quaint ice skating rink – where couples young & old joined together, frolicking merrily under winter’s moonlight. There was a genuine feeling of cheerful spirit vibrant in the air. On Saturday evening, dressed warmly & sitting under blanket upon a horse-drawn carriage, my beautiful date & I gazed over the glorious nature of our city as we strolled through town… then, without notice, a gentle breeze arose. And, with a twinkle from above the first tender snow flakes of winter began to fall. The experience was undeniably magical. And… at that moment, all I could think about was soup.
Golden. Delicious. Soup. Inspiration.
Well… OK. That was all just a bunch of baloney. In fact, I contrived that story of inspiration while eating oatmeal this morning. But, then again… we live in Food Blogger World, right?! And, if a recipe is not equipped with a back-story of inspiration on par with the life & times, hurdles & heroism of Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Larusso, and / or Jackie Robinson… then what type of recipe post would this be??! Just another mundane soup recipe??! Let’s f’in hope not.
OK. Enough is enough… time for a dose of honesty. The true story of Roasted Butternut Squash-Apple Soup.
About 2 weeks ago I was asked to a dinner party by a good friend. Never one to turn down a party, but also never one to agree to party too quickly… the negotiation went something like this (to best of my recollection):
Friend: What you up to next week on Tuesday?
Me: Hhmmm??! Well… you know my schedule’s pretty tight with band practice & all. My pipes are near pitch-perfect, “American Idol” is right around the corner, & J-LO is crushing hard to check my vocals.
Friend: Well… we all know you’re a legend in the making (in your own mind). So, if Tuesday works… Be there @ 7pm. Bring food & I’ll supply the party.
Me: So, what’s the occasion & how many guests?! Details…
Friend: Just a small Thanksgiving-themed dinner party. So, dig into your little black book of recipes & come up with something lite as an appetizer.
Me: Actually, that sounds fantastic & my vocals could spare an evening of rest (from signing to myself in the shower). But, before I commit… shall this party be stocked with… COORS LIGHT??!
Me: Boom! On board.
Friend: Great – In fact, if you could… a soup would be fantastic. Maybe butternut squash??!
Me: Well… with the icy cold Rocky Mountain freshness on hand & great friends near… anything is possible. Butternut Squash Soup it is!
Well… you read this correctly. The inspiration & key motivating factor leading to creation of this recipe was an ice-cold 6-pack of silver bullets. Yup. That sweet slice of liquid gold you’ve come to know & love – dear to your heart & mine. Coors Light Beer. In a can.
How bout them apples?!
That said, as you know, the dinner party was a smashing success. Great friends. Lots of laughs. A “few” icy cold beverages. And, after creating, testing & recalibrating the Butternut Squash Soup recipe… there are 3 things I have found to love about this Soup.
1. It’s an underdog. I say Butternut Squash Soup… You say no chance in hell that’s a winner. Wrong. This thing is the Rocky Balboa of Soups. Full of life, character, content, bold flavor, sweet & heat contrast. When against the ropes & on it’s last leg… Bet the house on Butternut Squash.
2. The beauty of this recipes lies in it’s simplicity – from use of all natural ingredients, to prep & execution. The ingredients are sauteed, pureed, garnished, & from pan to plate within 1 hour.
3. It really does taste incredible & brings me back to those chilly winter days as a youngster, coming in from the blistery cold countryside, warming by the fire with a bowl of soup & cheer of good company. The sweet undertones of the squash & apple play wonderfully upon one another in this creamy concoction… Hearty enough to suffice as a stand-alone meal, or the perfect compliment to any winter main course.
Now… Stay warm. Stay hungry. Make soup. And, carry forth… like a Boss!
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup water
- 1 2-3 pound butternut squash, cubed, seeds & fibers removed
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled & cubed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- salt & fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
- fat free sour cream, to garnish
- sliced green onion, to garnish
- red chili flakes, to garnish
- In sauce pan over medium heat, bring 2 tablespoons olive oil to a gentle simmer.
- Toss in onion & garlic, sautéing 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add squash & water to onion / garlic. Sauté for additional 5-7 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock, add apples, cream, butter, sugar & seasonings.
- Bring to boil, reduce to simmer & cook for 30 minutes, or until squash fork tender.
- Meanwhile, post relatively ambiguous, passive-assertive, affirmation-seeking Facebook status update, Instagram multiple overhead photos of recipe in progress, pin pictures of your cat, & if time, utilize cellular device to establish loose semblance of plans with friends for approaching weekend.
- OK... Remove from heat, pour into food processor & puree.
- Sample soup using clean spoon & season additionally, to taste.
- Pour puree back into sauce pan, bringing to simmer for additional 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Using ladle, fill soup bowls, then garnish with light dollop of sour cream & green onion.
- Serve immediately.