Again with the apples! This time in soup. But not just any soup – quite possibly my favourite soup in the world. In this heartwarming potage, earthy butternut squash plays beautifully off of sweet-tart apples and warm spices.
Five spice powder is a wonderfully aromatic blend of spices used in Chinese cuisine – cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel seeds and star anise. It hints at pumpkin pie, but is a touch more exotic. It’s worth looking for (and makes this soup really special!) but if you can’t find it, allspice can be used in a pinch.
The squash and apples are simmered until completely soft, before being blitzed with an immersion blender. The rich, creamy soup that results tastes indulgent even without actual cream, but a splash does take it over the top; I add it when serving to special guests.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 L (1 quart) chicken stock
- ⅛ tsp chinese five spice
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, or 1 tsp dried
- ½ cup cream, optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until just translucent, not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add squash and apple, then stir in chicken stock, five spice and sage. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until squash is very soft, about 30 minutes.
- Puree soup using an immersion blender, or else puree in batches using a regular blender. Stir in cream, if using, and return to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.