It was with much chagrin that I realized yesterday morning that I had just three more tiny slices of plum cake left, and after those were gone, I was left jonesin’ for more tastes of late summer/autumn (even though in Xiamen, the weather is still as hot as a Canadian summer).
Usually, fall in Toronto means going apple picking with all the aunties and uncles from church, apple cider, brisk weather and maybe a few hayrides, apple pies, and piles of dried leaves to jump in. Last year we were in Toronto for our October wedding, so we were able to partake of the autumnal goodness (at least, the leaf pile-jumping part). Alas – who knows when we will next be in Toronto in the fall?
So today, when I had half a Chinese pumpkin in the fridge (actually more similar to a butternut squash than a pumpkin), and a few apples, I thought I would try my hand at making soup. It was so easy, and the natural sugars from the apple and squash made it a not-just-any-old-soup kind of soup. Smooth and creamy, it was slightly sweet with a hint of autumnal spice (even though, strangely, I didn’t add any spices). Even Chris, notorious soup-hater that he is, said it was the best soup he had ever had, and finished a WHOLE BOWL. Will miracles never cease?
Apple-Butternut Squash Soup
1 small red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced (preferably a tart one, but I only had Fuji apples, so that is what I used)
1 tablespoon MSG-free vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper
In a stockpot on medium heat, heat the oil. Throw in the onion and garlic, and cook a few minutes just till softened. Add the butternut squash and apple slices; stir around a bit to brown slightly.
Add the water and turn the heat up to medium-high until water boils, then turn heat down to a simmer. Add vegetable bouillon. Simmer about 25 minutes, until squash and apple are soft.
Puree soup in batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender (be careful when blending hot liquids and don’t fill the blender more than 2/3 in case it splashes). Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Serves 4.
Recipe Notes: This soup is creamy enough that you don’t need to add anything, but I liked how it looked with a swirl of plain yogurt. You could also experiment with adding a pinch of ground ginger, nutmeg, or other spice, though we thought it was nice just as it was. Also, if you’re a better person than me, use 1L of homemade vegetable stock and omit the water and vegetable bouillon.