14 November 2012

 Do you serve soup on Thanksgiving?  I never have, but I know a lot of people do.  I've been wanting to share this terrific soup with you for a while, so I thought now would be a good time.  If you are inclined to serve soup on Thanksgiving, this one would be perfect.  It has multiple fall flavors: apple, butternut squash, and sage.  It's rich and creamy and smooth and delicious.  My sister made it once when we were staying at her house and I thought it was the best soup I had ever eaten.  She got the recipe from Food Network Magazine. I've tweaked it just a tad.  Here's my adaptation.

Apple Cheddar Squash Soup

5 tbsp butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 large white potato, peeled and diced
1½ cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed 
½ tsp dried sage
2 tbsp flour
⅓ cup apple cider
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Melt 4 tbsp butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the onion, apples, potato and squash. Season with salt and cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sage and flour. Add the cider and cook over high heat, stirring, until thickened. Add the broth and milk, cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the potato is soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the cheese to the soup and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches until smooth; season with salt and pepper. 

Makes 4 servings.

This is just the most comforting soup on a cold fall day.  I have a testimonial as to just how good this soup is.  I made it for a family last month.  This wonderful lady at our church is caring for her sweet elderly father.  He had been in the hospital with pneumonia, and then after he was released, she and her husband were taking care of him at home.  I made this soup and one other for them because I knew they were really busy and worrying about dinner should be the last thing on their minds.  She told me later that her dad absolutely loved the soup.  She even wrote out a lovely thank you card in which she told me that she overheard her father telling her brother the "orange soup" was the best soup he's ever tasted in his life.  That's pretty good considering he's eaten 89 years' worth of soup!  I was very honored to know that he liked it so much.

This soup is really good in a bread bowl.  I'll share the recipe for that sometime soon.

The original recipe called for pancetta.  My sister used bacon and that was really good.  But I don't bother with the bacon when I make it.  The flavor is nice, but not really necessary and I don't mind meatless soups.

Such a pretty soup, don't you think?

So if you're looking for a great soup to include with your Thanksgiving feast, there ya go!  Tomorrow is my monthly Improv Challenge and I will be sharing a great Thanksgiving side dish involving sweet potatoes and honey.  And bonus, it won't take up any oven space on the big day.

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