Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter Apples + Savory Granola

Hey Foodies!

You ever have one of those days? You know the spilled coffee all over your favorite shirt, found out your computer charger is broken, can’t find a quiet place to work (even though you’re at a library???),  and now it’s 1 PM and you haven’t accomplished anything, kind of day? Yeah, me too. *Deep breaths*.

If you’re having one of those days, maybe a little kitchen therapy is what you need. Days like today, I like to stop, take a step back from everything, and take some time in the kitchen to create for myself. No recipe, no time limit, no expectations. Whatever sounds delicious to me, take that and run with it. Develop it, elevate it. Or don’t. Sometimes all you need is a pan of your favorite brownies.

Today, I chose butternut squash soup, one of my favorite fall dishes. Everyone has their own recipe for this, but how could I be creative with it and make it my own? What ideas have I been floating around in my head for a while but haven’t acted on? Savory granola, savory apples. So that’s what I did and now here we are.

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Something about the process of making a soup, start to finish, is so satisfying to me. The smells, the sounds, the way the flavor develops and changes in each step. This soup was no different and I absolutely loved how it turned out.  It’s beautiful to look at. It smells amazing throughout the entire cooking process. The texture of the soup itself was smooth and creamy, topped with the crunch from the savory granola, a fun substitute for bread. The soft, buttery apples brought in a new layer of flavor that I had never tasted in a savory dish before (not to say that it’s never been done, but it was new to me.).

When To Make This

For me, this was a very therapeutic experience. I made it for comfort, and mission accomplished. I have no doubt it could do the same for you. This is the perfect chilly autumn day soup. All the ingredients are in season, the aromas are warm and comforting as is the soup itself. I think it would be a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving dinner, as a side or a first course. It’s large enough to feed 5 or 6 people one night or two people for a couple nights. The best part is that it gets better on day two and even three when all the flavors have time to rest and come together.

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Notes

First, the squash takes about an hour and a half in total to roast in the oven. If you don’t have time to roast the squash, cool it, AND make the soup all in one night, you can easily roast the squash the night before.

Alternatively, you could peel the squash and cut in into large cubes and roast it faster, however, I find you get the best flavor from roasting it the first way.

Your third option is to roast it for half the time, cut it into smaller pieces and finish cooking it in the soup. Again, you won’t get the same flavor.

For the apples, you want these to have a really nice caramelization, it gives the apple a more warm, savory flavor. Remember this is going in a savory soup, not an apple pie.

Season the soup throughout the cooking process. Soup quickly absorbs salt, so every time you add a new ingredient, add salt as well.

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Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Large Butternut Squash

2 TBSP EVOO

4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

2 Cloves Garlic, NOT peeled, crushed

1/2 Yellow Onion, diced

1 Small Leek, sliced

1 Large Carrot, Sliced

1 Gala Apple, core removed, sliced

4 C Vegetable Broth

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

3/4 C Heavy Cream

1 TBSP Brown Sugar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Savory Granola

1/2 C Raw Pecan Halves

1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 C Pepitas

Seeds saved from butternut squash (approx. 1/4 C)

2 TBSP AP Flour

4 TBSP Brown Butter

2 TBSP Honey

2 TBSP Cayenne

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

Salt and Pepper to taste

Caramelized Apples

1 Gala Apple, core removed, sliced

2 TBSP Brown Butter

1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the soup:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Cut the top off of the butternut squash and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and save them for the granola.
  • Lightly score the squash diagonally, drizzle with olive oil. Place crushed garlic cloves and thyme on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Roast in the oven for 1-1.5 hours or until soft and golden brown on top.
  • Allow to cool and remove skin, you should be able to just peel it off using your hands.
  • In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt butter and sautee onions, leeks, carrots, and apples until tender and aromatic.
  • Add squash and vegetable broth, bring to a boil.
  • Add rosemary, cayenne, and cinnamon. Keep the rosemary on top of the liquid, do not stir or push it down into the soup.
  • Allow the soup to boil for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Discard the rosemary sprigs, add heavy cream and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • In batches, add the soup to a blender and blend on high until smooth and even.
  • Pass through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, allowing the soup to cool completely, uncovered, before placing in the fridge.

For the Granola

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a medium bowl, combine nuts, seeds, and all dry ingredients.
  • Add brown butter and honey
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the seeds and oats are golden in color.
  • Serve on top of the soup

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For the Caramelized Apples

  • In a saute pan over medium heat, melt and brown butter.
  • Add thyme and rosemary and cook until aromatic, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add apple slices, salt, and pepper. Allow them to fully caramelize before turning the slices over. Stir occasionally.
  • When they have reached a golden brown color and are slightly browned and crispy on the edges, they’re done.
  • Serve hot as a garnish on the soup.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jyotsna Shenoy says:

    This. Is. Just. Scrumptious. Aesthetic. Flabbergasting. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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