HLF’s Extremely Good Vermont Squash/Apple Soup

It’s that time of year…

Ingredients:

A stick of butter
A sort of large sweet onion
2 pretty-good-size butternut squash
A little olive oil
2 granny smith apples
Some maple syrup (dark amber is best)
A little bottle of cider (a pint is more than enough)
A quart of stock (vegetable or chicken – not beef)
Salt, nutmeg and ginger & fresh sage
1 cup heavy cream (or half n half)
(Some like cloves or cinnamon, but I don’t.)
Duct tape.

  • Take two pretty good size butternut squash and cut them in half the long way. Scoop out the seeds. Rub a little olive oil on the cut sides, and place cut side down in a baking dish or two. Bake til soft (about an hour at 350)
  • Meanwhile: Melt 5 tbs butter in a soup pot, add 1 diced sort-of-large sweet onion and cook slowly til transparent
  • Scoop the baked squash out of its skins and drop in pot with onions; put skins in composter.
  • Peel and core and cut up 2 Granny Smith apples, and put the pieces in the soup pot.
  • Add about a 2/3 cup dark amber maple syrup, a cup of cider and a quart of vegetable or chicken stock.
  • Cook til everything is soft.
  • Puree in blender or with immersion blender. The more you puree it the smoother it gets.
  • Put it all back in the soup pot. It will be quite thick. Add:
  • ½ tsp salt
    ¼ to ½ tsp nutmeg
    ¼ to ½ tsp ginger
    A couple of crushed fresh sage leaves.
  • Stir it all up and turn the heat way down or even off. Let it sit there til meal time, so flavors develop. You can even put it on the porch overnight if it’s cool out. Tape the lid down with duct tape if you have raccoons.
  • Before serving: heat the whole thing up to a slow burble. Dump in 1 cup heavy cream and mix completely. If it’s too thick for your taste, thin with cider or stock. If there are no children, you can thin with white wine and that’s not too bad either.
  • This soup FREEZES extremely well at the pre-cream stage. Don’t add cream to the portion you want to freeze; whenever you get around to eating it, you should thaw it, heat it and add the cream then.
    Ladle into bowls, garnish with your choice of:
    • Dollop of sour cream
    • Cut rings of green onion
    • A shake of nutmeg
    • Carrot shavings

    Makes: A lot. About a half-gallon. You can also extend it by adding cut, peeled potato with the apples, or a bit more stock.

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