One thing we really enjoy when the weather starts to get cold is soup. I especially love comforting bowls of thick creamy soup such as the kind chain restaurants have, but they can be a bit pricey and, I suspect, not very good for my waistline! Our Aunt Lynn says you can take any type of vegetable or fruit, cook it until it's tender, and then food process or blend it into a lovely soup. She says it's "the French way to make soup" and she should know - she lived in Switzerland for seven years. I've adopted her technique and it works equally as well with my hand held immersion blender as it does with a food processor or regular blender. It makes soup seem rich and thick without using flour for a roux - good news for people who need to avoid wheat. For this soup, I included Granny Smith apples and a bit of curry powder to add a tang and a kick that our family loves!
Ingredients for 4 to 6 servings:
1 medium sized butternut squash
2 medium sized Granny Smith apples
1 medium sized yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 (15 oz.) cans chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half and half (optional)
Peel the apples and the squash. Scrape the seeds out of the squash and cube enough of it to make about 4 1/2 cups. Core the apple and cube it also. Set the apples and squash aside.
Dice the onion and saute it in the olive oil until it is soft and tender. Then add the curry powder and garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Pour in the two cans of broth.
Add the cubed squash and apples along with the salt and the pepper. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash and apples are tender. A fork should go through them easily since they are going to be pureed.
Use an immersion blender or process the mixture in two batches. If desired, add the half and half, stir well, and heat again if neccessary but do not bring the soup back up to a boil. If you do not use the half and half, you might want to add at least 1/2 cup more broth so that the soup is not so thick. Half and half is a splurge but it's lower in fat than cream!
Another splurge is serving them with croutons! Cut bread into cubes and brown in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Asiago bread is great for this!