I've been developing this recipe over the past month, and have discovered many variations that work -- but this one is the clear winner. Its texture is sublime, and the flavors are like autumn distilled into a soup. Truly heavenly -- and perfect for a Meatless Monday!
Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large apple, any variety, cored and cut into chunks
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 stick of butter
24-32 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) small amount of goat cheese
Melt the butter in a large heavy pot (I use my Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the squash, apple, sweet potatoes, onion, shallot, and celery and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the onions are softened, add enough stock to cover all of the vegetables. Put the lid on, but make sure it's vented -- I put mine on diagonally to allow steam to escape. Lower the heat a bit and simmer until all the vegetables are tender -- 30 to 40 minutes.
Puree the soup either using an immersion blender or by removing in small batches to a regular blender. Return to soup pot and add salt and pepper as necessary (if your stock is already salty, you may not need any additional salt -- I only add pepper).
For added creaminess, add a dollop of goat cheese to each bowl as you serve. Autumn in a bowl!