Saturday, March 28, 2009

Goodbye Winter: Roasted Squash and Apple Soup Recipe

This roasted butternut squash and apple soup comes from The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil and Rosie Daly. In the middle of winter this warming soup hits the spot. I have been known to make it repeatedly on frozen days, much to the appreciation of my husband, who recently choked down a similar squash soup at a restaurant, comparing it disfavoringly to mine. (He's so sweet.) Now, on the cusp of spring, and recently returning to NYC from already sprung Geneva, Switzerland, I anticipated finding the spring bounty of ramps and garlic scapes and rhubarb at my food coop. Alas, I got ahead of myself, and instead found a pile of heavy, wintry, butternut squash. Ok, I'm still wearing my winter coat; I'll make it again.

This method of preparing a soup by roasting all of the vegetables first, is a simple and effective method that I have used over and over again with different combinations of ingredients. This particular one, with squash, apples, garlic and onion makes a sweet and tangy soup with loads of flavor. The recipe calls for a cilantro, walnut and jalapeno pesto for the top of the soup, but this time I served it garnished with a little olive oil and some shaved pecorino romano cheese instead. Perhaps by the time I finish this soup I'll be able to pack away my winter coat?

Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup
from The Healthy Kitchen, Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley

1 large winter squash (about 2 1/2 lbs), such as butternut, buttercup, or kabocha, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tart, firm apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and red chili powder to taste
4-5 cups vegetable stock (I use water)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large roasting pan, toss the squash, onions, garlic, and apples with the oil to coat. Season well with the salt and chili powder. (I never use the chili powder.) Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender and lightly browned, about 40 minutes.

Put half of the vegetables with 2 cups of the stock in a food processor and puree until smooth. Repeat with remaining vegetables and broth. Return pureed mixture to the pot. (I use an immersion blender, instead.) If the soup is too thick, add more broth. Correct the seasoning and heat to a simmer.

Serve in warm bowls with dollops of cilantro walnut pesto.


lisaboudreau said...

So simple and delicious! I made a cilantro jalapeno and pumpkin seed pesto garnish because I didn't have walnuts or cheese.

Banu said...

Yay, Lisa!

cheryl therrien said...

remember when we were performing in seattle (and i had a talking shoe...) and we didn't know what the hell ramps were??!! good times, my friend. and glad you can learn me what to do with them ramps now!!! can't wait to see you in geneva.
gourmet baby food for kai??!! ;-)