Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Nutmeg
(recipe, Mitchell Davis)
This is a delicious and beautiful soup, ideal for the fall and winter holidays. I've made the cream optional because without it, the soup has a homey, comforting quality; with it, the soup is a little more refined. For even more sophistication, make a garnish of sautéed apple cubes, toasted pumpkin seeds, crumbled bacon, and/or buttered croutons.
- 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 butternut squash (3 pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes (about 6 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium cooking apples, such as Northern Spy or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 small Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp. (scant) ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the squash, carrots, apples, potato, bay leaf, nutmeg, 4 teaspoons salt, and a scant ¼ teaspoon pepper, as well as 6 cups of water. (The water should be at least 1 inch or so above the vegetables; if not, add more.) Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the carrots are fall-apart tender.
- Remove the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade, or a regular blender, purée the soup until smooth, working in batches if necessary. If you cooked the soup long enough, there will be no need to strain it.
- If not using the cream, adjust the seasoning and serve. If using cream, stir in the cream and bring the soup back up to a simmer. Cook for a couple of minutes. Adjust the seasoning (you’ll need another teaspoon or so of salt and more pepper) and serve.
Advance Prep: The soup can be made a day or two in advance, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. If made with cream, a skin may form on top as it reheats. Simply stir it back into the pot.
Leftovers: Made without cream, the soup will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator; made with cream, it will last for one week. The soup can also be frozen for up to four months.