Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider & Crème Fraiche
by Chef Luca Paris
This recipe is featured on the December 28th, 2016 Culinary CPR episode of Code Delicious with Dr. Mike.
Who knew there was so much possibility with a humble squash soup that is a powerhouse of nutrition; rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and loaded with anti-oxidants. But most importantly, it is loaded with flavor!
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ cup local maple syrup
- 2 large butternut squash
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs. crème fraiche (more if desired)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups good apple cider
Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder, cinnamon in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot. Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Add the squash, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash are very soft. Process the soup through a food mill fitted with a large blade, or puree it coarsely in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple cider and crème fraiche to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.
Doc’s Differential Diagnosis:
Roasting: Try roasting the butternut squash first (depending on the size, roughly 45 minutes at 350 degrees) with a light drizzle of olive oil. The roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the squash. Just remember, because of this you’ll need less sweetener like the maple syrup (try 2 Tbs.).
Spices: Experiment with a wide variety of spices for different flavor profiles. For example, try a pumpkin pie spice blend with the curry powder; it adds allspice, cloves and other flavors besides the cinnamon. Also, try seasoning the squash if you decide to roast it prior to cooking on the stovetop.
Save those seeds: Don’t throw the seeds away, especially if you are roasting the squash. Roast those along with the squash and a top them with some of the curry powder. They make a great snack or soup topping.
Stock: For hearty soup base, consider using a light, homemade chicken stock in place of water and some of the apple cider; or if you can’t find good fresh apple cider you can replace all the additional liquid with a quart of stock.
Crème fraîche: If you can’t find crème fraîche don’t despair. You can use a good, organic whole fat sour cream to top in place of the crème fraîche. You can even replace the crème fraîche in the body of the soup with some regular cream if you prefer it with a little thinner body.
Heat: Vary the heat as you like it, hotter curry powder or milder, your favorite hot sauce or as I like to do, a roasted poblano pepper. This deepens the smoky, roasted flavor and gives the soup an additional layer of complexity on the palate.