Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Herbed Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Cheese plate, glass of wine, cocktail meatball, back to the cheese plate, more wine, bite of cookie, keep the wine coming, another meatball, okay just a splash more of the Cabernet... ooh, there's a cheese plate at this party? Welcome to my week. Five nights of holiday parties in a row... here we go Christmas.

File this one under "my life is hard" ridiculousness, but in all seriousness, this kind of partying can wreak havoc on one's waist line and liver. So a little planning ahead on Sunday is providing a fresh, vegetable-forward soup to help balance out sugar, fat and alcohol. Won't make up for the lavish indulgences, but at least it will make me feel slightly less gluttonous.

Apples lend a tartness to complement the sugar-y sweet squash, with fresh herbs as punctuation.

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove that pesky skin from the squash. No matter if you hack and knick it a bit, the forthcoming puree will mask a multitude of peeling sins.

Saute to soften, then in with the herbs and broth; simmer to tender town.

An immersion blender would be fantastic here. In other "my life is hard" news, I don't have one of those, so a food processor or blender will work just as well.

Pureed perfect. Be sure you're stocked up on Gatorade and saltine crackers... this week's going to be a doozy.

Herbed Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
1 butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
3 small apples, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add onions to butter and oil and cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add butternut squash and apples, cooking until the outer edges begin to soften. Add vegetable stock, herbs, S&P and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until squash is fork tender, about 30 minutes.

Puree squash mixture with an immersion blender or in two batches in a food processor or blender. Season to taste and thin with extra stock, if needed.

Serve hot.

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