This Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is silky and luscious, with the perfect balance of sweet and spice. A little swirl of maple-sweetened sour cream takes it over the top.
I feel like it was only a few weeks ago that every post I wrote seemed to start with me whining and complaining about how cold it was outside. Well, prepare for a déjà vu because it’s frakking freezing again and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Oh joy. I know it’s going to warm up a bit again before the semi-permanent winter-long deep freeze hits us but, seriously Nature, can you give a girl a break? See, one of the things about buying a lovely, hundred-year-old house is that it’s goddamn drafty. Luckily I have a dog and two cats that want to be on a lap at all times so that helps. A bit. A teeny, tiny bit. Also, soup.
Speaking of déjà vu (and soup), it was about this same time last year that we posted our recipe for Mashed Butternut Squash With Thyme And Mascarpone, which has become one of the most popular recipes on NwK. I think butternut squash is so popular because it’s not only delicious, it’s also extremely easy to cook well. It has a gorgeous, silky texture (without any of the stringiness you find in a lot of pumpkins and squash) and it also has that beautiful, vibrant color that just screams Fall. It’s the vegetal equivalent of wearing a cable-knit sweater while walking through a pile of brittle, umber leaves. It’s Mr. Autumn Man’s favorite gourd.
The combination of butternut squash, apple and curry is a classic one because… it’s yummy, though I found that a lot of the recipes that I’ve tried over the years were just too timid for me. In this version, I upped the curry amount and combined it with fresh ginger (which gives it a nice kick), but that spiciness is balanced by the sweetness from both fresh apple and apple cider.
Honestly though, I think the most delicious part of this soup is the maple sour cream that was inspired by this Martha Stewart recipe. It’s crazy because it’s just three ingredients including salt, but it’s absolutely divine and I now want it on absolutely everything. Including pizza. And tater tots.
This soup would be a fantastic first course for Thanksgiving dinner. It has those traditional American holiday flavors with just a little extra kick of spice. And who doesn’t like to kick their family just a little bit during the holidays?
- When buying butternut squash, look for ones with a… sorry, every time I say this I feel like I sound like a perv… look for a long, thick neck and a smaller bulb. Most of the flesh is in the…shaft. Squash should feel heavy for their size (indicating a high moisture content – they gradually lose water after harvesting).
- If you can push a fingernail into the rind of a squash, that means it’s immature and will make fun of your outfit (and be lacking in flavor and sweetness).
- Store it on the counter (in a cool, well-ventilated space), not it in the fridge. It will last for weeks.
- Butternut squash is rich in complex carbohydrates and low in saturated fat and sodium. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium.
- The soup can be made up to 2 days ahead and can be frozen for several weeks.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups onion, chopped (about 2 medium)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced or grated
- 3 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium-size)
- 2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 cup apple cider
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, maple syrup, 1 or 2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt. Cover; refrigerate.
- Melt the butter with olive oil in a dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions, apples, ginger and curry powder, and sauté over medium heat until onions are very soft, about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Chop into roughly 1 inch cubes.
- When onions are done, add the stock, squash, and cider and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is very tender, about 25 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth (or use a regular blender in batches). If soup is too thick, add a little more chicken stock or water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, dollop or swirl a spoonful of maple cream on top of each serving.