October 8, 2009

Butternut Apple Soup with Lemon-Herb Yogurt Drizzle

This comforting autumnal soup is inspired by the bounty of squash and apples at the farmers markets right now. I used butternut squash, but delicata would work really well too - or any squash that is easy to peel raw. The apple's tartness (I used Granny Smith) is a nice complement to the earthy sweetness of the squash, and the lemony, herbal yogurt drizzle adds a tangy zing and (hey, I'm a girl) - it's pretty too.
I pureed the soup in a regular blender (my immersion blender doesn't manage to get soups quite as creamy as I like), and it was so smooth I didn't even need to strain it.

(Blending hot liquids safety note: I always puree hot substances in small amounts, with the blender container no more than half-full, and usually only one-third of the way full. This time I let the soup cool for a few minutes and then blended it in 3 separate batches. Also place a folded towel over the blender lid and maintain firm pressure on it while blending - so you don't end up with a volcano of scalding-hot soup!)

Butternut and Apple Soup with Lemon-Herb Yogurt Drizzle
Serves 4 to 6

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds and pulp removed, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 large Granny Smith apple (or other tart apple variety), peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
Bouquet garni*
sea salt (I love fine-grained Celtic sea salt - unrefined and full of minerals)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme

*I was out of cheesecloth, so I used 1 sprig fresh rosemary and 1 sprig fresh thyme, wrapped really well with twine so the leaves wouldn't escape. If I had cheesecloth, I would have added a bay leaf and a few whole black peppercorns. You can add parsley stems, too.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pot (I love my enameled cast-iron faux Le Creuset pot from TJ Maxx!), heat olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute for 5 minutes until softened.
  • Add squash to pot with onions and saute for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add apples and cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Add cold water to just cover squash and apple mixture, a large pinch of salt, and the bouquet garni. Simmer, covered, until squash and apples are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • To make lemon-herb yogurt drizzle, combine lemon zest with minced parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Remove bouquet garni from soup. Puree in several batches in blender (or with an immersion blender) until very smooth (test - if at all gritty, pour soup through a fine strainer to remove). Transfer pureed soup to a pot (if it's too thick, add a little more water and then reheat over low flame). Add lemon juice and more sea salt, if needed.
  • Drizzle each serving with the lemon-herb yogurt.

1 comment:

  1. Oh this sounds so wonderfully autumny. And delicious. Laughing about pureeeing hot - yes - been there - done that and don't do that anymore! Good advice to puree in small batches. Squash and apples pair so well together. Loving this (and a wee bit chilly - so really would like the soup now).