Allana's Butternut Squash, Apple and Ginger Soup
You know it’s fall when you begin to see your Pinterest boards, Facebook walls and grocery stores explode with butternut squash. The pre-cut orange cubes and whole squash are practically everywhere and just as Pumpkin Spice Lattes take over Starbucks, butternut squash tends to take over my kitchen come late September. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all complaining. The sweet and succulent taste of roasted squash is one of my most favorite autumnal eats. What’s great about butternut squash is how versatile the veggie is - you can literally pair it with anything. Salads, salsas, soups, risotto, pizza, pasta - you name it, you can “squash” it.
Typically, butternut squash pairs extraordinarily well with the herb sage. For my typical butternut squash risotto recipe, I toss the rice with leaves of fried sage and parmesan and oh-my-gosh, it is so good. However, in this case, I wanted to experiment with some Gourmet Garden herbs I don’t typically use. So, I went with ginger. At first, I was unsure what to pair it with - I’ve had ginger in stir-frys, glazes and even cocktails but I was hesitant in cooking with such a pungent and unique flavor profile. Strangely, butternut squash was the first thing that came to mind.
I figured, for a ginger newbie, soup would be a great first option. Luckily, my family has a standby squash soup recipe that is even more delicious every time we make a batch. The addition of sweet apples and juice give this soup a sweeter flavor and the lack of heavy cream and butter really keep this soup hearty and healthy. To balance out the sweetness, the Gourmet Garden Ginger did just the trick. While it certainly gave the soup a much different taste than a traditional butternut squash soup, I was hooked after my first spoonful. The key is to mix, mix, mix the ginger in with the soup while it’s both boiling and after it’s finished. You don’t want to add too much at first, especially because some guests may find the ginger to be overwhelming - but, the beauty of Gourmet Garden Ginger is, you can easily add more with just a small squeeze of the tube. Be sure to finish the soup off with a small shaving of Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.
Recipe : adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe here. (this recipe makes 3 ½ quarts, can be easily halved)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large)
- 1 tablespoons mild curry powder* (recipe calls for 2, used 1)
- 5 pounds butternut squash (2 large)
- 1 1/2 pounds apples (4 apples)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups good apple cider or juice
- 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Ginger, divided
Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder in a large pan uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.
Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.
Add the squash, 1 teaspoon of Gourmet Garden Ginger, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Process the soup through a food mill fitted with a large blade, or puree it coarsely in the bowl of a food processor.
Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple cider or juice and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Stir in the final teaspoon of Gourmet Garden Ginger, check the salt and pepper and serve hot. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese if you’d like.