Recipe: Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Crispy Sage

The weather has been so miserable and rainy today that I’ve been craving warming, autumnal flavours in the form of something I can eat on the sofa while watching the Great British Bake Off on catch up. Also, as I rather overindulged on sticky buns and lobster rolls at a wedding in Portland, Maine last week this soup is the perfect antidote to my holiday excesses. I love how the sour, crispness of the apple freshens up the rich, sweetness of the squash – the crispy sage adds a little savoury crunch. It’s a great soup to use up the seasonal glut of squashes and apples, we have literally kilos of apples dropped off by friends and neighbours that I’ve been attempting to work my way through! Make double and freeze the leftovers in small portions so you have a supply of lunches or light dinners to see you through the autumn. You can substitute the butternut squash for pumpkin if you prefer, a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds on top is also yummy.

I love how the sour, crispness of the apple freshens up the rich, sweetness of the squash – the crispy sage adds a little savoury crunch. It’s a great soup to use up the seasonal glut of squashes and apples, we have literally kilos of apples dropped off by friends and neighbours that I’ve been attempting to work my way through! Make double and freeze the leftovers in small portions so you have a supply of lunches or light dinners to see you through the autumn. You can substitute the butternut squash for pumpkin if you prefer, a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds on top is also yummy.

SquashSoup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 onion (150g, chopped into 1cm cubes)

1 medium potato (150g, chopped into 1cm cubes)

A handful of sage leaves – keep 18 leaves to make the crispy sage leaves

½ butternut squash (400g, chopped into 1cm cubes)

1 cooking apple (100g, chopped into 1cm cubes) – I’ve also used dessert apples (regular eating apples) which has worked just as well

1 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock

50g salted butter

Splash of olive oil

Salt and white pepper

Sour cream to serve (optional)

Melt 30g of the butter, with a splash of oil, in heavy bottom pan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Once the butter is melted turn the heat down to low and add the onion and half the sage leaves. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of white pepper. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the onion is soft but not coloured. Add the diced potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sage leaves from the onion and potato mix

Add the butternut squash, apple and hot stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes until the squash and potatoes are soft. Puree with a stick blender or in a liquidiser while still hot to ensure a velvety soup. Taste and add more salt and pepper if required

In a frying pan melt the butter with a splash of oil until hot and bubbling. Add the remaining sage leaves and cook until crispy, it will only take about 15 seconds. Remove the crispy sage and set aside to drain on some kitchen paper.

Serve the soup with a drizzle of sour cream and a couple of the crispy sage leaves on top.

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