SOUP+FALL = COMFORT. Don’t you agree? There’s nothing better than a hearty bowl of soup on a cold fall day. This week we have been having a cold snap here and the freezing temperatures at night have been calling out for food that makes you just want to wrap yourself in a blanket in front of the fire with a great glass of wine and a steaming hot bowl of butternut squash soup with bourbon and apples. This is exactly what we’ve done. This combination of great fall squash with sweet apples and caramel flavor from the bourbon…..this made our week! You could make this with pumpkin also, and you could leave out the bourbon if you wanted. It would still be delicious. This made enough soup for us to have all week so you could make less and still have plenty for leftovers! It only gets better the next day so go make some soup and settle in for some fall comfort!!!
1/2 c. butter
4 T. olive oil
2 ea. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 leeks, cleaned and diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 c. minced ginger
4 T. minced garlic
2 apples (I used honey crisp), peeled and diced
1 1/2 c. bourbon
chicken stock (you could use vegetable stock or water if you wanted)
1/4 c. cream
1/2 c. maple syrup
For the Soup
Heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add leeks, onions, garlic and ginger and sauté until translucent, approximately 5-6 minutes.
Add cubed squash and cook, stirring until edges begin to soften, approximately 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, but you will season again at the end so do so easily.
Add diced apples and sauté for another minute.
Pour in bourbon and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add approximately 8 c. chicken stock, enough to cover all the vegetables. You can always add more later if needed. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until squash is soft and cooked all the way through.
Remove from heat and blend soup with a hand blender, or in batches in a regular blender. Be careful because this is super hot!!! When soup is totally blended put back on stove and add cream, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and let flavors blend for 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. You can add more or less of the cream and maple syrup depending on your tastes.
For the Gruyere Crostini
Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice the baguette on the bias and brush with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and bake until crostini are golden and crisp. Place thin slices of gruyere on top of crostini and place back in the oven to melt. Serve atop soup. Sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds to garnish.
Have a great weekend!!! Keep warm!!
Beijos e Tchau!
Ludmilla and Marilyn Chudda