Thursday, December 17, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream

I've made butternut squash soup before, and it was really good. But this, this recipe is superb, and it is the addition of apples and apple cider that lend a pleasant sweetness to this beautiful soup - cider cream and the fried sage leaf is what puts this recipe over the (freaking) top! O to the M to the G!

The list of ingredients is longer than most of my other recipes, but let me say this recipe is easy and REALLY impressive, so make it for your next dinner party! (and have the recipe handy, you will be asked for it)


5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives

Here is my butternut squash, peeled and cut into one inch squares.

Before I add any veggies, I melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat and throw in several whole sage leaves.

This does a couple things...I'm "frying' the sage leaves, browning the butter slightly, giving it a nutty taste and also flavoring the butter slightly with sage.

Meanwhile, I sliced the leeks and cleaned them VERY well in my salad spinner. Leeks tend to hold lots of sand and grit.

When sage is crispy, remove and drain on paper towel. Reserve these wonderful sage chips for garnish!

Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; saute until slightly softened, about 15 minutes.

I had a shallot, so I gave it a good dice and added to the pot. You should know by now I rarely follow a recipe exactly...

Next, peel and slice the apples and add to the veggies along with dried thyme and dried sage.

Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, I make the Cider Cream by boiling the remaining 1/2 cup cider in a heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Then let it cool down.

Whisk in sour cream. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

After 30 minutes, the veggies are very tender!

I used my immersion blender to puree the soup.

Mix in whipping cream last.

To serve, I ladled the soup into bowls, swirled the cool cider cream on top, sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds and topped with a fried sage leaf.

GOURMET cooking my friends! It wasn't a hard recipe, just took a little time to prep. This kept in my fridge for a long time, and it was really yummy. When we were sick of soup though, I boiled some pumpkin tortellini and spooned this hot soup over the top as "sauce." I love reinventing leftovers!


  1. Hey little Missy, This is one of my very favorite soups. My recipe is from Michael Chiarello and uses apples also. I love the idea of fried sage and cider cream. Have a very blessed Christmas.


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