Nov 1, 2010

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Cider Cream

This is an intensely warm and satisfying fall soup – it would also make a great starter for your Thanksgiving meal. The apples, carrots and celery really compliment the squash and give the soup a sweetness that squash alone couldn’t accomplish. We each slightly varied the recipe (which was originally in a Bon Appetit magazine but now sits crumbled and torn in a cookbook after being used so many times) – Caitlin added curry to hers and topped it with cider cream and toasted almonds; Monica opted to follow the recipe as it was written, but left out the ¼ cup of cream.

Caitlin: I absolutely love this soup; it’s one of my fall favorites. I decided to spice it up this time (literally) by adding a little curry powder that I made for another meal. I reduced the amount of sage (1/8 tsp) and apple cider (2 tbsp instead of ¾ cup) then I added some extra cloves and cardamom to the curry before putting it in the soup. The result was amazing!  The flavors blended perfectly together – it was right amount of spice and sweetness. I decided to top the cider cream with toasted crushed almonds, which added a little texture and crunch to the soup. We had ours on a cold and rainy day in front of the fire while catching up on Harry Potter – it was the perfect background to the warm and spicy soup.

Monica: This soup smelled so seasonally appropriate – as the squash, apples, and veggies simmered in the stock. I followed the recipe as it was written, however, I opted to leave out the extra bit of cream since I decided to serve it with the cider cream garnish.  That garnish added the amount of creaminess I desired in the soup.  Also, due to the addition of the apple and cider, there was a hint of tanginess that made this version of butternut squash unique. When the soup was finished, it was incredibly tasty and extremely nutritious.  It was also quite hearty, so I served my soup with crusty bread on the side. 

Ingredient List
2 tbsp butter
3 cups butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
1 cup chopped leeks
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sage
2 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
3/4 cups apple cider
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream

If using curry powder
You can toast and spice your own, or you can add premade curry – there are some really good ones out there. I added a little more ground cloves and cardamom to mine, just to sweeten it up a bit.
1 ½ tbsp curry powder, adjust according to your preference.
Reduce the amount of sage – use only 1/8 tsp
Reduce the amount of cider – use 2 tbsp

Toasted Almonds
Take about 4 or 5 raw almonds and put them in a Ziploc bag. Crush with the bottom of a mug or glass. Toast in a small skillet for a few minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle over the cider cream.

Melt the butter and add squash, leeks, carrots, celery – sauté about 15 minutes until soft.

Mix in apple, thyme, and sage. Add stock and 1/2 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree soup and return to pan.

Make the cider cream. Boil remaining ½ cup cider in another pan and reduce - 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl, whisk in cider. Cover and refrigerate.

Bring soup to simmer and mix in cream. Don’t bring back to a boil once the cream is in.

Serve soup with drizzled cider cream on top.

Caitlin's Version
Monica's Version
If you don’t have any leeks, you add either onions or scallions.

If you want to keep the soup vegetarian, add vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

To keep the soup light, don’t add the cream after you puree it.

If serving the soup before a larger meal, try serving it in shot glasses - it adds a fun twist.

Caitlin: John Williams’ soundtrack to Harry Potter. The day I made this, my son had a day off of school – it was raining and freezing, so I decided to make a fire while I cooked the soup. We put in Harry Potter (to catch up before the new one comes out), and ate in front of fire watching the movie. It was perfect.
Monica:  This meal felt good for the soul, literally – so my playlist reflected that:
1)      “Harvest Moon” Neil Young
2)      “I Wish I Was the Moon” Neko Case
3)      “Lay Lady Lay” Bob Dylan
4)      “100 Days 100 Nights” Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
5)      “Vasos Vacios” Los Fabulosos Cadillacs & Celia Cruz
Drink of Choice
Caitlin: We decided to have some of the leftover apple cider that I used for the soup.
Monica: I found the perfect drink for my bowl of soup was a half a pint of Newcastle (of course, you can drink a full pint if you choose).

A Recipe to Remember?
Absolutely! This is a warm and satisfying fall favorite.


  1. This looks really yummy! Did Christian enjoy it? I still can't Josephine to eat soup.

  2. Lucky for me, he's always loved soup. Plus he helped me make it, so he was a little more eager to try it. Also, I made some without the curry powder - it was a little too spicy for him.