Soup is all about comfort and I needed comfort this week. What with being all sad and slightly stressed with a little touch of the holiday blues. And I needed something to warm me up because is has been freaking chilly cold. I needed soup. But I wanted something slightly special, not the everyday, but also not anything fussy or finicky. A soup that I could make really fast or let sit on the stove all day. A soup that would bring a little brightness without being overly rich. A soup to take away the chill and make me happy.
Is that asking to much of a soup? I think not.
This soup, it did it all. But also take into account, this soup is not for the people that do not like squash. Or for the people that do not like apples or cranberries. Or for people that do not like thick creamy soups. But if you are not one of this people (you are a person that likes squash, apples and cranberries, and creamy soup) then this soup is for you. It is for us. Creamy, flavorful, slightly sweet and spicy with a little tang and just so dang delicious. It is like a warm blanket of soup. Comfortable and lovely. I have basically eaten an entire pot all to myself in the past two days.
It has been just what I needed.
The stuff. A butternut squash, a couple apples, and some cranberries. Also a carrot, an onion, some fresh ginger, a few cloves garlic, cumin and chili powder, salt and pepper, apple cider vinegar, and a little olive oil.
Start by chopping up the carrot and the onion. Small pieces just because they cook a little faster.
Peel and grate or mince some fresh ginger too.
Toss that all into a big pot with a splash of olive oil and a splash of water and cook on a medium heat until tender and fragrant.
While the veggies cook, chop the squash into small cubes. Remove the seeds, but no need to peel.
And chop up the apple too, but set aside a half of one for the apple cranberry relish.
Now toss all that into the pot along with the cranberries.
Add the spices, salt and pepper, a few splashed of apple cider vinegar, and water to cover it all. Then place it on stove, bring to a boil, then turn heat to medium and let cook.
While the soup is cooking, make the relish. Mince the half apple along with about 1/2 cup of cranberries.
Place in a bowl with a pinch of salt and a few splashed of apple cider vinegar. Then just let it sit and meld.
Soup is looking good. Everything is soft and falling apart and ready to go.
Blend it all until smooth.
Thick and creamy goodness right here. If it is to thick, add more water, too thin, cook it down a little longer. The consistency is up to you.
Now all you need to do is ladle soup into bowls and top with a couple spoonfuls of the relish.
This is comfort. This is good.
Have a great, comfy weekend.
Apple Cranberry Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cranberry Relish
makes 6-8 servings
1 small butternut squash (about 5 cups cubed)
1 large onion
2 macon or mac apples
2 cups fresh cranberries (you can use frozen too)
2 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili power
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon fresh minced or grated ginger
4-5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
6 cups water
Start by chopping the onion and carrot into small pieces. Place into large heavy bottom pot with a splash of water and a tiny splash of olive oil. Mince the garlic and peel and mince ginger. Toss into the pot as well and place it on a medium heat to cook until the veggies are tender and fragrant.
While the veggies are cooking, dice up the butternut squash. Remove any seeds but there is no need to peel. Also dice up the apples, reserving 1/2 of one for the relish. Place the chopped squash and apples into the pot with the cooking veggies along with 1 1/2 cups of cranberries , the chili powder and cumin, 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and the water. Place the pot back on the stove, bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let cook.
Once soup is on the stove, take reserved half apple and the other 1/2 cup of cranberries and dice into very small pieces. Place into a bowl with a little pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Toss around and set aside.
And back to soup. Once the squash is tender and starting to fall apart, it is time. Remove from heat and either with a immersion blender, or a regular blender, blend the soup until smooth. After its blended and creamy smooth, check for thickness. If you think it is too thick, add more water. Too thin, place back on stove and cook down until it thickens up a bit more.
When you are ready to serve and eat, ladle soup into a bowl and top with more pepper and a spoonful or two of the apple cranberry relish.
Then eat and feel cozy.