Saturday, September 11, 2010

Best. Soup. EVER!

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If you check this blog on a semi-regular basis you have come to understand just how much my fiance, Aaron, loves soup. The boy will it it all the time, would eat it every day and pays no attention to 100+ degree Maryland humid heat as he wolfs down a bowl of chili...he is Soup Man.

So imagine his happiness when I decided to make a soup I've been putting off until fall weather hit. Now, I know it isn't 100% fall yet - but we've been able to keep the windows open enjoying a crisp breeze for at least 4 days in a row.

It was time.

For the long-awaited Apple Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup!

(Insert horns and appropriate fanfare here)

This soup was delicious and other than the somewhat time-consuming and hilarious task of "peeling" and prepping the squash, didn't take very long. I had no clue what I was doing and eventually just considered it a success that I got the "skin" off the squash and got rid of all the seedy guts.

The soup turned out to be smooth, creamy and extremely flavorful. Thankfully it made a good-sized batch so we have leftovers. Nothing is worse than enjoying a seriously tasty dinner and then facing the tear-inducing moment the next day when you search for something to eat for lunch and are left with peanut butter rather than tasty leftovers.

This soup was, in fact, so yummy that we hurried to eat it and I completely forgot to take a photo of it in the bowl with all the toppings! Oops? Go ahead and "bad foodie blogger" me, I accept it.

Apple Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium applies (I used gala), diced
- 1 large russet potato, diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled butternut squash (fresh or frozen - I chose fresh)
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika
- 1 tbsp. ground sage
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1 cup lowfat milk
- 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto torn into bite-sized pieces and cooked on the stovetop until crisp
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 scallions (for garnish)


Melt 4 tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Once melted - add the onion, apples, potato and squash. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Cook until the onion is soft, about 8-10 minutes. Be sure to stir regularly to keep the contents from sticking to the pot. Next you want to add the sage and flour, stir to coat the mixture well - then add the apple cider and cook over a higher heat until nicely thickened.

3. Once thickened, add the chicken broth and milk - cover and bring to a boil. While you wait for it to boil, you can cook the prosciutto in the remaining 1 tbsp. butter in a skillet on the stovetop. Turn the pieces frequently and only cook until they are just crisp.

4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash and potatoes are fork-tender...about 10-12 minutes. Then add the cheese and stir until it is thoroughly melted. Once cheese is melted, puree in batches in a blender until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and simmer on low until heated through.

5. Add a dash or two (or three if you love the flavor like I do!) of paprika to the soup and serve. We topped it with the prosciutto and finely chopped scallions. Yum!

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