Few things make me happier than when cookbook authors build suggested menus around a recipe. It’s so inspiring when they stride off down roads you’d never travel yourself. Or, even better, when they take you in a familiar direction but add an unexpected twist. Pull you out of your food rut and remind you that there are things like persimmons in the world just waiting to be used.
This menu doesn’t have persimmons, but reminds me that cheese sandwiches—room temp or grilled— taste better with fruit and that apples and squash pair as beautifully as apples & onions (natch). Lydia started making this soup for our clients and I’ve been replicating it at home. It’s an easy fall classic with a little sweater texture in the form of apple fiber. Teamed with a green apple and Gruyère sandwich with smashed avocado and sprouts on seeded bread (see photo, below) and thin & chewy chocolate chip cookies, it makes a cozy feast for two.
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Yield: 6 servings
1 butternut squash, topped, tailed, peeled* and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 firm apples (I like McIntosh or Gala), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 cups vegetable stock
*Once you’ve removed the top and bottom of a butternut squash, it’s easy to peel in long vertical strips using your regular old vegetable peeler. No knife needed.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Toss the squash, onion and apples chunks together with the olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper and spread in one even layer on a lined baking sheet. You may have to use two baking sheets. Roast until tender but not brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Let vegetables cool slightly before scooping them in batches into your blender. Add as much stock as is needed to puree each batch into a smooth soup. Combine your batches and season to taste with salt and pepper. I top mine with generous grinds of pepper. The spice warms the whole bowl.
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