Butternut Squash^2? Does that scare you? Me too. It is kind of like jeans^2. You know you want to do it, but you don't want to admit it.
I know...butternut squash is not in season. But.
a. It snowed today. Still is snowing. And so I am pretty sure that makes it ok for me to cook winter squash.
b. I am practicing some recipes for my sis-in-law's (sis's-in-law?) fall wedding.
c. I am obsessed with these butternut squash and goat cheese quesadillas.
Let me tell you about these quesadillas. O. M. G. Scot and I made them last time we had roasted butternut squash. And they are seriously SO SO SO SO good. Recipe: take two tortillas. Spread some dijon on one and top with some shredded Monterey jack cheese, slices of roasted butternut squash and crumbled goat cheese. Put the other tortilla on top. Grill each side in a skillet in some olive oil until crisp on both sides (and cheese is melted on the inside). It doesn't even need a dipping sauce it is so good.
Let me tell you about this soup. I love it a lot. I am really into toppings and garnishes for soups. This is a pretty basic (and delicious) butternut squash soup base with some applesauce in it to give it the slightest hint of sweetness. It isn't sweet though. It is still very savory. Then, it is topped with gorgonzola, whole toasted almonds, and diced apples. I think the toasted almonds did it for me. If you have never toasted nuts, all you do is put them in a dry skillet and cook over medium to medium high heat until fragrant. I think hot nuts taste like chicken. Look at these toasted nuts!:
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple, Almond and Gorgonzola
adapted from Whole Foods
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot, diced
1 large celery stalk, diced
1 medium onion diced
1 large butternut squash, roasted and cut into one inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup applesauce
1 apple, diced
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup of whole almonds, toasted
2 ounces of gorgonzola, crumbled
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add butternut squash and thyme. Stir to combine with vegetables. Stir in chicken
broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until veggies are soft, about 30 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully puree in batches in a traditional blender. Add applesauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Toss diced apples with lemon juice to avoid browning.
Serve soup garnished with diced apple, almonds, and crumbled gorgonzola.
(Servings: 4, Prep time: 1 hour, Cook time: 45 min., Difficulty: Easy)