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Fast and Easy Butternut Squash Recipe

Flavorful Fall Soup in 30 Minutes?! Amazingly, It Can Be Done

The following post was originally featured on Alexandra's Kitchen and written by Alexandra Stafford, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Food.

The trouble with the butternut squash soup I make again and again every Winter is that it takes so much time: 45 minutes to roast the squash, 30 minutes to simmer it with the stock, and 15 minutes here and there for prepping. Although much of the time is hands off, I never feel like I can whip it up on a weeknight.

So when I saw this recipe for butternut squash soup with cider and sour cream, which apparently could be "made in a flash," a few things caught my eye: In step 1, onion and garlic simmer in a small amount of water — not butter or oil — for about five minutes. In step 2, the squash cubes steam in stock for 20 minutes. In step 3, the soup is pureed with apple cider and sour cream, and then it's done.

I followed the recipe to a T and was pleased to discover that a completely flavorful soup had materialized in 30 minutes start to finish. As the onions and garlic cooked down in the water, I was able to peel, seed, and cube the squash. And the pureed soup needed nothing more than a pinch of salt and a splash of stock before it was ready for serving.

I've made this soup, which is at once light and comforting, three times in a week, and the past few evenings, I've been serving it with flatbread topped with olive oil, sea salt, and minced sage and rosemary, two of butternut squash's best pals. With Lahey dough stored in the fridge, this meal comes together in a flash and couldn't taste more like Fall, the fragrant herbs so nicely complementing the squash and the subtle sweetness of the apple, the tangy sour cream balancing it all out.

This soup begins with simmering minced onions or shallots and garlic in water . . .

. . . until they are soft and the liquid has nearly evaporated.

Eight cups of cubed butternut squash . . .

. . . steam for 20 minutes in a cup of chicken stock.

After the soup is partially pureed, apple cider and sour cream enter the pot.

Sometimes I have to add a bit more stock at the end to thin it out, but most of the time, it purees into a silky smooth consistency that needs little doctoring.

Last week a friend dropped off the most fragrant rosemary and sage from her garden. We have been sprinkling it over flatbreads for the past three days.

Another great use for these quart storage containers is Lahey pizza dough. A quart container might feel unnecessarily large for one round of dough, but I've had lids of pint containers pushed off by expanding dough after a day or two in the fridge.

Olive oil, sage, rosemary, sea salt.

Five minutes on the Baking Steel.

Dinner:

Oven spring:

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup

Notes

For the flatbread, follow the instructions on this post for preparing the dough. Before baking, drizzle dough lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with finely chopped rosemary, sage, and a pinch of nice sea salt, and bake 5 to 6 minutes on the Baking Steel.

Fast and Easy Butternut Squash Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1 shallot, sliced, or 1/2 large white or yellow onion, minced
  2. 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  3. 8 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
  4. 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade, plus more for thinning out as needed
  5. 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  6. 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup sour cream
  7. 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  8. 1/2 unpeeled Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apple, cored and finely diced (optional)
  9. Cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and 1/2 cup water. Cook until the shallot and garlic are softened, being careful not to let them burn, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the water is nearly evaporated.
  2. Add the squash and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree until roughly smooth. (Alternatively, carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Holding the top down with a towel, blend until smooth.) Add the cider, 1/2 cup of the sour cream, and salt. Continue blending until well combined. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. (I often add another teaspoon of kosher salt.) Add more sour cream if desired (I always do). Thin out with more stock — you may need as much as another cup of stock. Taste, and adjust seasoning again as necessary.
  4. Note: The soup can be made ahead up to this point. Place in a clean saucepan over low heat until heated through. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the diced apple (if using) and cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.
Image Source: Alexandra's Kitchen
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