When the leaves start to change and the first chill of the season is in the air, or when Mother Nature decides to blindside us with a freak October snowstorm, then there’s one thing that I always start to crave, and that’s soup. I’m a big fan of the “orange” soups – carrot, sweet potato, squash, or any combination or variation thereof – because they warm my chilled tootsies and put me in the mood for all of the fun things that cooler weather brings, but also because they’re so good that you wouldn’t guess that they’re also very good for you.
I like this particular soup recipe, well, because it tastes great, but also because it’s so easy to make. Roasting the vegetables not only saves time that you would otherwise spend standing and stirring at the stove, it also provides a more complex sweetness to the finished recipe. And while your squash, apples, onions, and garlic are doing their thing in the oven, you can whip up a quick balsamic apple and onion relish that adds a pop of intense flavor to your bowl of squash and apple goodness.
This recipe has been shared on the Gluten Free Holiday link up, where you can find lots of healthy, gluten free recipes and tips for the holidays.
For the soup:
1 large butternut squash (approximately 2 1/2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2 inch pieces*
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into sixths
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tart, firm apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and cayenne pepper to taste (I used 3/4 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. cayenne)
4-5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
* buttercup or kabocha squash also works well
For the relish:
2 tart, firm apples, cored and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a large cookie sheet, or in a large roasting pan, toss the squash, apples, onions, and garlic with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until everything is fork-tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes.
2. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and place half in a blender or food processor, along with 2 cups of stock. Process until you have a smooth puree. Repeat this process with the other half of the vegetables and the stock. Transfer the pureed mixture to a large pot or bowl, and add more stock if the soup is too thick. Serve warm, topped with the Apple and Onion Relish (directions below).
3. To prepare the relish (I like to do this while the vegetables are roasting), heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced apples and onions and sautee for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the apples have started to soften. Turn the heat to low, add the salt, and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the onions are lightly caramelized. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
soup recipe adapted from Dr. Andrew Weil
relish recipe by Kristen Magee