Can you tell I’m ready for fall? Pumpkin everything, and even though the weather isn’t cool enough, I love the idea of wearing sweaters, sipping hot drinks and watching leaves change colour. A girl can dream right? We don’t have pumpkin patches or fields in the Bahamas, and I highly doubt I’ll be able to carve one (way too accident prone), but I get so excited about pumpkins and squash during this time of the year! So when I saw this recipe for butternut squash soup with cider and sour cream, which apparently could be "made in a flash," a few things caught my eye: butternut squash (which I had recently seen on the shelf in the grocery store) and cidre! Of course I changed a few things like adding some crushed red pepper flakes (bae likes pepper so I have to practise cooking with it).
This is a great soup to have in your everyday arsenal. The hardest part is peeling the squash and even that is relatively easy. There’s nothing difficult about this soup. It’s sweet, purely flavored, and can be made in a flash. The recipe came from Food 52. I think it's the perfect thing to serve the week after Thanksgiving, when you still crave the flavors but need a break from the heft. And this soup couldn’t taste more like fall if you tried! The fragrant herbs so nicely complement the squash and the subtle sweetness of the apple and the tangy sour cream balance it all out. Despite the complex flavours, trust me, there’s nothing complex about this recipe! You can have dinner ready in 30 minutes! So let’s jump into this recipe! I guarantee you’ll be the hero of dinner if you make this for your family or friends.
Butternut Squash and Cider Soup
10 basil leaves (stems removed)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
8 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade, plus more for thinning out as needed
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 unpeeled Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apple, cored and finely diced (optional)
Cracked black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Heat a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and 1/2 cup water. Cook until the shallot and garlic are softened, being careful not to let them burn, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the water is nearly evaporated.
Add the squash and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree until roughly smooth. (Alternatively, carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Holding the top down with a towel, blend until smooth.) Add the cider, 1/2 cup of the sour cream, and salt. Continue blending until well combined. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. (I often add another teaspoon of kosher salt.) Add more sour cream if desired (I always do). Thin out with more stock — you may need as much as another cup of stock. Taste, and adjust seasoning again as necessary.
Note: The soup can be made ahead up to this point. Place in a clean saucepan over low heat until heated through. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the diced apple (if using) and cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.