There’s something relaxing about making soup. Maybe it’s that I don’t feel the pressure of getting the concoction right the first time. As long as I use a large enough pot, I can add ingredients until I’m content with the taste. I’ll admit, I’ve been known to transfer a soup-in-progress to a larger pot for this exact reason. Unfortunately, there did not exist a container big enough to fix my “random leftover veggie
Thankfully, my culinary skills have improved a bit since that veggie soup rescue attempt a few years ago. I’m grateful to say I’ve had some successes like Butternut Squash + Apple Soup. This creamy fall dish is naturally sweet with squash, apples and honey while red pepper flakes, sage and thyme balance out the richness with spice and freshness.
During the cooler months I make quite a bit of soup so I’m always looking for ways to dress it up with accompaniments. After perusing a myriad of recipes, I discovered the perfect match – crostini.
Crostini means “little toasts” in Italian and they’re basically just that – mini pieces of toast. The possibilities for toppings are endless but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity for nutty Gruyere cheese baked over sweet and tart Granny Smith apples.
What else can take a simple soup dinner to the next level but a glass of wine? I’m no sommelier, but I did find a helpful article about pairing wine with soup. This sweet and rich butternut squash soup called for a crisp Chardonnay with notes of apple to complete the meal.
How’s that for a sweet, savory and comforting fall dinner? For more seasonal inspiration, make sure to check out DIY Playbook this week! We’re super excited that this post is part of their Fall Fantasy Draft and we’re honored to be contributing to their fall series as “Foodie Experts”!
We met DIY Playbook‘s lovely Bridget and Casey at the Haven Conference back in August and we had a blast getting to know these fun, talented, beautiful, creative, Chicago girls. Check out Bridget’s and Casey’s creative endeavors as well as other Fall Fantasy Draft contributions!
Butternut Squash + Apple Soup
Yields about 10-11 cups
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium apples, cored and chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly group black pepper
2 tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular AP flour)
2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 – 3 ½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup milk or cream
2 tbsp honey
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sage leaves, garlic, onion, apples, salt and pepper. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until onions are tender and translucent.
2. Add flour, thyme and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 1 more minute. (Add about ¼ cup of stock if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.)
3. Pour in broth and add the squash. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is tender (about 25 minutes).
4. Add milk, honey and nutmeg and let simmer on low for another 10 minutes.
5. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, allow soup to cool for a bit and then transfer to a regular blender to puree.
6. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Add additional broth if you want a thinner soup.
7. Transfer to bowls for serving. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and serve with Apple-Gruyere Crostini.
½ baguette, sliced into ½ inch slices
1 medium apple, halved, cored and sliced very thinly
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. On a baking sheet, lay out the baguette slices in a single layer. Brush each slice with olive oil and top with salt and pepper.
3. Lay apple slices onto each piece of bread and top with shredded cheese.
4. Bake in the oven for about 6-8 minutes until bread starts to become slightly golden. Without removing the crostini, turn the oven to broil and cook for about 1-2 more minutes, or until cheese has slightly browned (but be sure not to burn the bread!).
5. Remove from oven and serve warm with soup.