Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Wild Rice and Apples

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Wild Rice and Apples
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butternut squash recipesIt's butternut squash harvest time and as luck would have it, it's apple season too.  Many of my favorite apple varieties are only available during the fall, one way to really enjoy them is paired with delicious butternut squash.

You can use any just about any variety of apple you choose, but for this soup I have chosen the variety, Jonathan, for its complex sweet-tart flavor. It is particularly crisp and will hold up well in the pan frying you'll put it through. Cortland would also be a good choice if you are looking for an alternative. Avoid the Red Delicious variety as they tend to lose all their flavor when cooked. Save those big red shiners for the lunch pail.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Wild Rice and Apples
serves 6

1  butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons whole almonds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large turnip, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced
3 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup wild rice (or brown rice mixture)
2 apples, cored and chopped into rough 1/2 inch dice
2 scallions, finely sliced (green parts only)
1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet; toast until fragrant, shaking the pan once or twice, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.

Raise the heat in the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and strings. Place cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Once the oven has preheated place the squash on the center rack and roast until soft and fragrant about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Remove from oven and let cool almost completely before proceeding.

Scoop the flesh from the squash placing it in a bowl and set aside. Discard skins.

Using a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved squash, turnips, parsnips, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and some pepper; cook stirring until the vegetables are well coated.

Add about 3 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth to the pot along with the thyme; bring this to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 30 minutes.

Fill a small saucepan with water, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool a bit. Using an immersion blender process the soup until smooth and creamy, adjusting the texture with remaining stock as necessary. Return the soup to a medium heat and allow it to re-heat.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan. Add the apple and cook without disturbing until slightly browned and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the scallion slices, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Cook an additional minute gently stirring the mixture together.

Add the cooked rice to the pot and mix it in well until heated through.

Ladle the soup into individual soup bowls, and garnish with the apples, scallions and almonds. Serve warm.

Find out more about butternut squash, how to grow it, harvest it, and yes, cook it! Several recipes too.

 

About The Author

Greg Henry is the talented cook and blogger behind the popular blog Sippity Sup. Stop by and see what else he has cooking!
 
 

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