Roast sweet butternut squash with apples for an easy autumn soup.
“Lee had his instructions. On the evening of the day of the announcement he was to cook a turkey and bake a cake.”
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
The dreaded holiday dilemma has arrived. May we discuss? It begins with Thanksgiving. The assumption that because we like to cook, we would like to cook more. Clearly, if we cook, we want to cook even more. It rarely occurs to anyone that we would like to be pampered and enjoy Thanksgiving too. Finding a way to change tradition which is heavily reinforced with unstated expectations is a big, big challenge. You will have to speak up, make new plans or heavens forbid, switch up the menu. Otherwise it will be the same old exhausting Thanksgiving.
Cook as much as you want, but just enough so you can enjoy the celebration too! I want to thank picky daughter for teaching me how to enjoy Thanksgiving. Everyone who arrives at her place brings their assigned dishes. Looks like I have stuffing and candied yams this year, fabulous! If she’s busy working all week she picks up her items at the store. No fussy expectations, just good food and company. I couldn’t ask for a better Thanksgiving.
In the spirit having a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season I’m sharing this easy recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Coconut Milk. It can be made days in advance and quickly reheated. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Coconut Milk has all the golden color of autumn we crave with the creamy richness we expect at a holiday gathering. The Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Coconut Milk recipe is vegan, the creamy richness comes from blending the roasted butternut with light coconut milk. There is no butter or cream in this recipe. Adding apples to the roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe may seem odd. But there’s something about the tang from the apple that complements the butternut. It takes the edge off the sweetness and deepens the flavors in the soup. It’s gotten cold, just go ahead and add a hint of heat with dried red pepper flakes. Not a lot, just enough to warm us from the inside out. I won’t tell anyone if you buy already peeled and cut butternut. Its fine with me. There are almost as many butternut squash soup recipes as there are brownie recipes. I’ve tried quite a few and this is where I’ve landed. Happy holiday season!
|Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Coconut Milk|
|2-lbs/1 lg||butternut squash|
|4C||chicken or vegetable broth|
|12-oz/1 can||light coconut milk|
|1/4t||dried red pepper flakes|
|6||crisp crackers, crumbled|
- Heat the oven to 425°. Divide the olive oil between to two large sheet pans.
- Roasting the vegetables takes about thirty minutes, depending on the size of the butternut chunks and how close together they are placed on the sheet pan. Peel and seed the butternut squash, cut into 1” chunks. Quarter the onion, if large, cut into eighths. Divide the squash, onions and garlic between the sheet pans and toss to coat in the olive oil. Make sure the sheet pan gets coated in oil too. Spread the squash, onions and garlic out in a single layer so they will have room to roast. Place in the oven and roast for ten minutes. While the vegetables roast, peel, core and cut the apples into large chunks. After ten minutes, turn the vegetables and rotate the sheet pans in the oven for even roasting. Roast another ten minutes, add the apples to the pans and roast a final ten minutes. When done the squash will be easily pierced with a knife and the apple will slump unto the pan. Remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes.
- Working in two batches, add half the broth, half the coconut milk, the red pepper flakes and turmeric to a Vitamix, blender or food processor and process until the soup is velvety smooth. For ease of processing, before adding the vegetables add the broth and coconut milk first. Pour the blended soup in a large pan. Process the second half of the vegetables, broth and coconut milk and add to the pan. Heat the soup on medium heat, stir occasionally. Once the soup begins to simmer, turn to low to finish warming. If soup is too thick, thin with more broth or even water. Taste, add salt as needed. Adding salt will depend on the broth used and personal preference. To serve, top with a few crushed crackers and a sprinkle of chives.
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