Sage Butternut and Apple Soup by Sanura Weathers
The beautiful thing about a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is that you never know what type of fruit or vegetable you will get. This week, the share included 10 pounds of three varieties of apples. The classic, green Granny Smith wasn't one of the options, and that's a favorite cooking apple. I have less passion for red apples. Noticing my disappointment, the organizer recommended the Macoun, being that it is both a tart and sweet apple. Can you imagine how it feels to carry 10 pounds of your least favorite apple home? Recipe ideas swirled around in my head. Like a fly swatter, most ideas were mentally rejected, because the recipes require green apples. However, my ignorance about red apples is now correct, for I'm eating humble pie (apples make a great pie). The Macoun apples are prized for their delicious taste in baking. The fresher the Macoun picked from the tree, the crisper the texture, which makes it a great baking apple. Since receiving the CSA share, almost every dish had apples, including soup.
In the same CSA share as the apples, was a welcoming medium-size butternut squash. There were initial thoughts of turning it into a fall soup incorporating apples as a natural sweetener. sage, a fresh herb grown abundantly in my urban garden, would contrast the sweetness of the soup. It's a difficult herb to use in the summer. Perhaps, the aroma is too strong and heavy. However, it pairs well with heavier ingredients, such as butternut squash. Using the typical fall spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, parsnips, and a drizzle of fig vinegar, an early fall soup was made. Like pie, this humble soup is savored and is the perfect soup for the cooler months ahead. Enjoy!
Sage Butternut and Apple Soup
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove; minced
1 butternut squash; peeled, seeds removed, and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
3 cups Macoun apples; peeled, cored and chopped
2 to 4 parsnips; peeled and chopped (or use carrots)
1 quart chicken stock
1 tsp. honey or dark maple syrup
1/8 cup white wine
1 cup fresh sage; divided; plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
Crushed red pepper; to taste
(Optional) Fresh, organic cream
Fig or balsamic vinegar
1. Add onions to warm olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper, and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds.
2. Add the butternut squash, apples, parsnips and 1/2 cup sage to the onion mixture
3. Add the chicken/vegetable stock, honey and wine. Bring the pot to a boil. Adjust seasoning.
4. Reduce temperature and cover pot with a lid. Soup should slowly simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
5. When the vegetables are soft, turn off the heat. Move pot to a cooler area on the stove or another area in the kitchen. Let soup cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Add the second half of the fresh sage to the soup. Working in batches, place soup in a food processor and pure until smooth.
7. Return soup to the pot and reheat to a slow simmer. (Optional: Add cream and bring soup back to a simmer) Adjust seasoning.
8. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Drizzle with fig (balsamic) vinegar.
Note: Before returning the puree back to the pot, strain the soup if a smoother texture is preferred.
To read more recipes by Sanura Weathers, be sure to check out her healthy food blog: My Life Runs on Food.
Do you have a soup that you would like to contribute to Seriously Soupy? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!