Soup is one of my favorite type of foods, and I love having it for dinners and lunches. I’ve even been known to make breakfast soups. Don’t laugh. This article isn’t about a breakfast soup (although you could certainly eat it then if you like), but about one of my favorites for Autumn dinners.
Soups, as humble as they often are speak to our souls, evoking memories of childhood or simple dinners with friends and families. While you can certainly make elegant, or complicated soups—lobster bisques and consommés come to mind, most are casual, rustic affairs put together with ingredients on-hand, and an adventurous approach to the endeavor. Savored on blustery evenings, sipped from mugs around a campfire, or sopped up with hearty peasant bread, these unassuming brews of vegetables, stocks, meats, and fruits satisfy our hungers both emotional and physical. I told you I love soup.
This particular recipe is for a favorite in our household: Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Andouille. We actually have two different recipes we use for Butternut Squash Soup, this one and my recipe which uses roasted Butternut Squash, and chipotle chiles. I’ll save that for another day though.
When making soups, I recommend taking a relaxed approach. Look around and see what you have that needs to get used up before you start making a shopping list. Don’t fret if you are missing a particular spice, think about what flavors you enjoy and substitute something you have handy. The recipe I’m giving you today came about originally because we had some of these items, and they were starting to look a bit tired. Et Voila! A favorite was born!
Another great point about soups is that they are a budget stretcher. As I pointed out above, they are a great way to use up on-hand ingredients, but additionally, they are usually composed of modestly priceditems from the start. After all, there’s no need to buy filet mignon to make a beef soup. Remember, the cooking methods used in soups renders even the toughest cuts of meats tender and blends the flavors into a rich and complex creation. No need to spend a fortune on individual items when the alchemy of the preparation will obscure their unique flavor profiles.
To whit: Butternut Squash is readily available almost everywhere, and relatively inexpensive. This recipe will easily feed four for dinner, with some leftover for lunch.
Even better than cheap and plentiful though, it’s a nutritional powerhouse. That beautiful golden-orange color means Butternuts are loaded with carotenoids, specifically beta-carotene which is converted by the body into Vitamin A. They are also a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium,and dietary fiber. You can’t go wrong including these in your diet. Paired with a salad of mixed greens, and a glass of wine, this recipe makes a nutritious and satisfying meal. And as always, try to use organic apples, onions, and dairy if at all possible.
Butternut Squash & Apple Soup w/optional Andouille Sausage
3 TBSP Healthy Fat (I recommend any of the following: Butter, Coconut Oil, Ghee, Olive Oil)
4 cups peeled, seeded & medium diced Butternut Squash
2 cups medium diced onion (approx. 1 medium onion)
4 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
1 Medium Apple, medium diced (pick a firm, semi-tart variety)
1 Quart Chicken or Vegetable Stock ( can sub water if necessary, but use more spices)
1/2 Cup Cream (organic, pasture raised is best, local if possible)
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage
Black Pepper To Taste
Sea Salt To Taste
1/2 Lb of Andouille Sausage, chopped (optional)
In a large stockpot heat your fat until it’s shimmering but not smoking. Add your onions, garlic, squash, and apples. Lower the heat and cover. Sweat the vegetables and apple until the onions are soft and translucent. You don’t want to caramelize them, just soften them. When the onions are soft,and almost clear, add your spices and stir to distribute evenly. Add your stock and cover again. Allow the soup to come to a low simmer. Continue to simmer until the squash is very soft, stirring as necessary to prevent sticking. Once the Squash is soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon, turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes or so. Once cooled a bit, use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency. If you do not have an immersion (aka a stick) blender, blend in a traditional blender in 3-4 batches. Once soup is blended, stir in the cream and heat again until it just barely begins to simmer.
If using Andouille Sausage: While soup is simmering, chop and cook Andouille in a skillet until browned and cooked through. Keep warm until serving time.
Serve soup in bowls, topped with Andouille if desired. Garnish with a fresh sprinkle of Nutmeg, and an extra swirl of cream if you like.
***Note: you can easily make this Non-Dairy by subbing full-fat canned coconut milk for the cream. The sweetness of the squash marries nicely with the coconut milk.
Please make this! I hope you’ll love it as much as we do, but feel free to play around with it. Add your own flair, your own special touch! Share with me in the comments what you did, and how it turned out, I love hearing everyone’s stories. I’ll be posting another Butternut Soup recipe soon, since I love it so much. After all, what goes better with a Tenacious Acorn, than a bubbling Butternut?