Butternut Squash Soup
In addition to fall being synonymous with pumpkin, I also happen to believe that it is synonymous with soup. Oh soup. As you can probably tell by now, I love soup. It warms my heart, soul and tummy. It is nutritious and filling. It has cured many an illness, both physical as well as emotional. There is nothing like a bowl of steaming soup to make things right with the world.
My dear friend Chef Maili has the most amazing soup recipes. She has been making a version of this one, Butternut Squash, for over 20 years (and yes, she started cooking when she was four!).
Maili started adding brandy when she first started catering, though we didn’t add Brandy to this recipe. Her beloved grandmother, Jean Darling, served this as a main meal by adding Danish sausage and freshly sliced apples. If Maili serves it as an hors d’oeuvres, she does so in a demitasse cup or tall shot glasses with Brandied cream fraiche or a chiffonade of mint (not quite so vegan-esque, but hey…not everyone’s vegan!).
The Silver Lining is that, in addition to being oh so wonderful and vegan and gluten-free, this soup can be served hot or cold (add more apple juice if you serve it chilled). Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Soup by Chef Maili Brocke
- 2 butternut squash (about 3 pounds each, so 5 to 6 pounds total)
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped (I like Fuji the best, but you can also use Braeburn or Gala)
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil
- 4 cups veggie stock (We recommend low salt Pacific brand if you are not using homemade stock)
- 2 cups apple juice
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- fresh ground pepper (3 grinds)
- ½ cup apple juice, only if needed to thin the soup
- 2 tablespoons brandy, optional
- crème fraiche and/or fresh mint for garnish, optional
- Peel and cut the squash. A vegetable peeler works best. Wear gloves if you have them and peel all the way down to the bright orange layer (don’t leave any white part, it is flavorless and grainy). Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon. Cut into chunks.
- Add oil to an 8-quart or larger pot. Add chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions occasionally over medium heat until they are soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the squash chunks, apples, chicken broth, to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until tender (about 40 minutes). Test with a fork. Add 2 cups of apple juice after the squash is tender.
- Puree with a handheld emersion blender or in batches in a regular blender or food processor. (But be sure to let the soup cool slightly if using a regular blender otherwise the lid will blow off and you’ll have soup all over the kitchen!)
- Add salt, pepper, brandy (optional) and additional ½ cup apple juice if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Also note that if you want thicker soup add less broth and juice and if you want thinner soup add more. Note that store bought broth is often saltier than homemade. Be sure to adjust the salt you add depending on the saltiness of the broth.
- Serve soup warm in winter or chilled in the summer. In winter we garnish it with brandied crème Fraiche (for non-vegan friends). In summer garnish with a chiffonade of mint. This soup freezes very well, so make extra and then you’ll have quick dinners on hand in your freezer.
To read more from Maili, please see her inspiring blog, Maili Files.
Thank you to the amazing Blue Caleel for always taking such fun and great photos!