Chris and I just got back from visiting his parents in Tennessee. The Greens hike and bike and are fastidiously careful about how they eat. They eat not much meat, no real butter, no whole eggs, and only skimmed milk products. It seems to be working out for them because they are fit, healthy, beautiful people. However, I find cooking at their house somewhat challenging since I am such a little piglet when it comes to fat. I love butter. I love eggs. I love whole creamy milk and the things that can be made with it, I love meat and savour even the fatty bits of it that most people disdain. Sometimes I claim that I allow myself to be this way because almost every grain on earth makes me horribly ill….but the truth is I have always loved and consumed lots and lots of fat. I made this soup while visiting them and was very proud of myself because it was really good and also not full of fat. It uses butter nut squash which (as the name suggests) has a smooth buttery consistency and apple butter which is applesauce that has been cooked and reduced until it is totally smooth and has dark, rich brown colour. You can buy it ready-made at the grocery store or you can make it yourself (it makes the whole house smell sooooooo good).
APPLE-BUTTER-NUT SQUASH SOUP
- 1 butternut squash
- about four cups of de-fatted home-made chicken broth or stock (see “The many virtues of chicken stock” on this blog….let your broth or stock cool totally in the fridge. The fat will rise to the top and you can easily scrape it off with a spoon. The broth or stock will be just as yummy without the fat….I really just skip this step because I am lazy)
- a few sprigs of fresh sage
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 or 2 stalk(s) of celery
- about a quarter cup of apple butter
- Pre-heat the oven to 350
- Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and place flat side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake until fork tender.
- While the squash is baking, you can mince the sage and chop the onion and celery. Put the vegetables in a large soup pot along with about 1/4 cup of your stock. Stew the vegetables, partially covered over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off when the veggies are soft, they do not need to brown.
- Scoop the cooked squash out of its skin and add it to the pot along with the chicken stock. You may need to add more stock or water depending on how large your squash is. bring to a simmer uncovered.
- Blend the soup until it is totally smooth.
- Return it to the pot and whisk in the apple butter. Season with salt and pepper. Feel free to add more apple butter if the flavour needs more sweetness or tartness. Depending on the saltiness of your stock you may need to use quite a bit of salt to bring out the flavours. If you have used bouillon cubes or canned stock instead of homemade you might not need any additional salt.
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