March 5, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

As most of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know, I like to follow recipes. I make little tweaks here and there to fit my own personal tastes or for convenience sake, but in general, I'm a stick to the rules kinda gal. I think of cooking like playing the piano. It can be a wonderful, creative outlet for some people (my husband being one of those talented beings), but you gotta learn how to read the music before you will ever be able to create songs of your own.

It's the same thing with cooking. You have to know the basics before you start tossing things together, or else you risk coming out with something so bad the dog won't even eat it. Most of the time, I'll let the professionals do the heavy lifting. Then I will happily take the credit for their hard work. :)

Last night though, I got this mad crazy idea to do my own soup recipe. I must have read like 6 recipes for soups that all had one ingredient in common - butternut squash - then I took what I liked from all of them, threw it in the pot and said a little prayer to the big guy. Let me tell you, I should be sure to play the lotto this week, cause Lady Luck seems to be paying me a visit! The soup was good! I mean really pretty darn tasty. I'm probably more shocked than anyone. Except for maybe Mom (she was the one I used to call when I couldn't figure out how to make scrambled eggs).

This soup blends together roasted butternut squash, apples, sage, chicken broth and Marsala wine. Nothing too fancy going on, and I stuck with classic combinations (like clinging to the pool wall when you are learning to swim). Oh, and this starts with bacon. How bad can something be when it starts with bacon?! If nothing else, having this soup come out so delicious felt like moving up from the Little Tikes Big Wheel to a pair of training wheels. Not quite to the big girl two-wheeler just yet, but I'm headed in the right direction!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

5-6 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (this was 2 small squash for me)
olive oil
salt and pepper
3-4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 sage leaves, or a whole sage sprig
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Place cubed squash on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix together.
  • Roast squash for 40-50 minutes, then set aside.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon through, then set aside. Leave oil in pot.
  • Add additional olive oil if necessary, then add onions and cook till translucent (8-10 minutes).
  • Add garlic, sage, apples and squash and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add broth and simmer over medium for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Lower heat to low, add Marsala and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove sage leaves or sprig.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Take the soup off the heat, and puree using a immersion blender or by transferring soup in batches to a blender. (We like ours a little chunkier, so I left some pieces of apple. This worked well and the apples had that baked apple texture).
  • Stir in cream.
  • Top individual servings with bacon.


Claire said...

This looks yummy...a comforting winter treat!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I am re-living my youth and baby steps in cooking vicariously through you! Isn't it fun when the light goes on?!! When you have followed a recipe to a "T" (which I do, as a rule the first time around) and then you can start making up your own recipes? I love those moments!

Apples and butternut squash-- what a beautiful pairing! I don't like B/nut squash, but I think I would with this recipe. I think I'll give it a go, and see if I can break through my aversion to it.

Great job!

noble pig said...

I love this type of soup! And topping it with sour cream...yum.

Donna-FFW said...

This looks so delicious and comforting. The flavors sound wonderful!I have got to try it!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your apple & butternut squash soup looks fantastic. Love the bacon on top and I use Marsala wine whenever I can. Great photography too.

Elra said...

What a great idea adding apple to the soup. I am sure it tastes delicious.

Anonymous said...

Great idea to roast the butternut squash for this soup. Sounds very delicious!

I just had that discussion with my daughter this morning about learning the basics first for playing piano :)

Peabody said...

Such a comfort food for me. I love apples with the squash.

sugarlens said...

I completely agree with you on "know the basics before you start tossing things together."

I should make my husband read this post because he's the type who tries to be "creative" in the kitchen without knowing the basics. And he wonders why I don't eat his cooking. :)

Your soup looks wonderful!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Sounds so yummy and congrats on a great dish. If it was not going to be 85 here today I would make this for dinner.

Maria said...

I love roasted squash, great idea to turn it into soup!

Diana said...

Sounds really tasty! I love the flavor combinations you have going on there!

P.S. I am still guilty of calling my mom with cooking questions. "How long should I let my eggs rest in the hot water for hard boiled eggs?" Yep, definitely asked that question last Sunday...

Helene said...

I love those soups in the winter. Great combo.

Olivia said...

I'm so glad to be seeing people incorporate butternut squash into their's such a forgotten vegetable and it's sad. I tried making butternut squash soup a few months ago; it was HORRIBLE. I like that you put apple in it though. Mine was just too much butternut squash--it was overpowering. This looks (and I'm sure tastes) much better than mine did.

Chef Fresco said...

Mmm butternut squash is pretty much my favorite. We made some soup out of it a while ago . . . I like the apple idea!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

This is one of my favorite fall and winter soups. Pair it with a salad or a savory muffin, and you've got the perfect dinner.

Jennifer said...

one of my fav soups!!!! so creamy and comforting really!!! Beautiful photo!

Aimée said...

Let's see..bacon? Yep. Apples? Yep.
Sounds like a winner to me!

Emily said...

My first thought when I saw this was, is that bacon?!! That's such a great idea to top a soup with it. Smoky bacon, sweet butternut squash and apples... yum.

Now go buy that lotto ticket!

Grace said...

heck yeah, top with bacon! that's a gloriously thick soup, full of good flavor and plenty of healthy stuff. very nice! :)

Kevin said...

Roasted butternut squash soup is one of my favorites. I like the addition of the apple.

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Claire - Thanks!

Hi Debby - It is very butternut squashy (like my new word?), so if you don't like it I don't know if this will work for you. Thanks for all your support!

Hi Noble Pig - Oh, sour cream sounds like a great idea.

Hi Donna-FFW - I really did like the apple and BNS combo.

Hi Sam - I don't cook with Marsala often, but had a bottle open so I thought, why not?

Hi Elra - Thanks!

Hi 5 Star Foodie - It's a subject my husband I talk about all the time.

Hi Peabody - I had never tried the combo before, but really liked it.

Hi Sugarlens - At least he tries! :)

Hi Foodie - 85! I would give up soup for 85! :)

Hi Maria - Thanks!

Hi Diana - What would we do without Mom? She also gets my all my sewing, cleaning, laundry, etc predicaments.

Hi Helene - Thanks!

Hi Olivia - I'm sure the bacon helps. :)

Hi Chef Fresco - I would use it a lot more if it wasn't so darn hard to cut up!

Hi Susan - Savory muffin, now there's an idea!

Hi Jennifer - Thank-you!

Hi Aimée - Definitely. Although I'm so glad it's finally starting to feel like spring around here.

Hi Emily - I have a belief that everything is better with bacon (or lime!).

Hi Grace - Thankya!

Hi Kevin - We really liked the sweetness that the apple added.

Blakely said...

That looks great!! Gotta love butternut squash!!!

Leslie said...

I have never had butternut Squash. I know weird huh??!!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

i just had roasted butternut squash soup today! it sounds like it would've been better with some apple! but it was quite delicious by it self too!

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