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Apple & Squash Soup

Fall Session 2014: Week 1
Apple & Squash Soup

(Heather L. - Kailyard Kitchen)


Ah yes, apples and squash. Possibly the clearest sign that autumn has arrived is seeing this duo everywhere you look. Luckily, these two fall staples are delicious and nutritious, giving our bodies the nutrients they crave as the days grow shorter. Winter squash are high in beta carotene and vitamin C, helping our immune systems to gather the strength to fight cold and flu season. Meanwhile, apples add another boost of vitamin C as well as dietary fiber and B­complex vitamins. Combining these forces into one soup creates a nutritional powerhouse!

Feel free to use either the Kuri squash or the carnival squash from your box for his recipe.

Kuri squash generally has a mellow flavor reminiscent of chestnuts. Carnival squash, a cross between acorn and sweet dumpling squash, is mild and sweet. Or for a bigger batch, use both and double the rest of the recipe!

Also, save your squash seeds! There's a recipe for this treat!

Ingredients:
2 lbs winter squash
2 medium apples, cut into small (1") pieces
1 large shallot or small yellow onion, small diced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken or veggie stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400*.
2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Save seeds in a bowl for recipe below.
3. Place squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake until tender (about 30 minutes).
4. While squash is baking, heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the shallot, garlic, leek, apples, and herbs & spices over medium­low heat until the shallots are transparent and apples are tender.
5. When the squash is cooked, carefully scoop the flesh out of the skin and add it to the large pot. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook over medium­low heat for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender, but only blend about a cup and a half at a time, otherwise you may end up with a hot mess.
7. Once the soup has been blended taste it and add salt and pepper to your tastes.
8. Serve it up! Feel free to top the soup with fresh herbs, sour cream, or the toasted seeds described below!