I loved all of your suggestions for what to cook last week. So many great ideas! I would have loved to have gone to the Farmer's Market or to see Jackie's gorgeous bread baking oven. For various reasons neither of those worked out, but someday, someday. I have some ideas, ladies. You know I do. But you all inspired me so much. Saturday was the first full day of fall, and of course fall means autumn soups.
We're big soup eaters around here. Callum has always been a big fan of soups, even when he was a wee tot. His preference leans towards brothy soups with lots of stuff (think chicken noodle with good chunks of stuff like chicken, celery and carrot), but he'll eat a pureed soup like this Butternut Squash soup, no problem. The key is to fill it up with tasty bits. Pumpkin seeds, prociutto, cinnamon toast croutons. I mean, hello. Add some ham and my guys will eat anything.
I adapted this recipe (to follow) from Epicurious. To my mind, the Epicurious recipe was a bit too sweet. Add some spice, and then the cider cream. And then the cinnamon toast croutons? Oh yeah.
Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream and Cinnamon Toast Croutons
adapted from Epicurious.com
5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup sour cream
Melt butter in a large heavy sauce pan. Add leeks, squash, carrots and celery and sauté for approximately 15 minutes, until slightly softened. Add apples, sage, stock and one cup of the cider and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until apples are soft, for roughly 30 minutes.
Allow soup to cool slightly, and, working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth and return to pan. Stir in cumin and curry and set soup aside.
Meanwhile, bring remaining cider to a boil and reduce by half, to 1/4 cup. Stir in sour cream.
Cinnamon Toast Croutons
Combine 3 tablespoons softened butter with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar. Spread on four slices of bread (we use whatever we have on hand, this time honey wheat) and toast in a 400 degree oven until tops are bubbly. Cut into triangles or squares.
Ladle warmed soup into bowls and top with cider cream and croutons. Soup can be thinned with cream, if it's too thick. Accompany with pumpkin seeds and prosciutto, if desired.