Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Chipotle Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup

Another instant classic. I can't fully claim this as my own since I got the idea from a recipe on About.com and by reading the comments I was able to reconstruct and improve upon the original recipe. Every time I made this recipe I have made more and more refinements with each iteration and this is the latest that has yielded the best results. This soup is an instant hit no matter where I serve it and a great fall recipe that will liven up any occasion. It is a little bit time because it involved roasting, but it is well worth the effort and really brings out the aromas of all the spices. This dish can also be made vegan with a few adjustments.

  1 1/2 tbsp butter (omit if vegan)
  3 tbsp olive oil, (divided, 4 tbsp if vegan)
  1 tsp of chipotle chili powder (divided)
  1/8 tsp of ground cloves
  1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  1/4 tsp of coriander
  1/2 tsp of cumin
  1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  1 tbsp ginger, grated
  1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  1 1/2 large onions
  4 cups of butternut squash, pithed, peeled, chopped
  4 cups of chopped apples
  1 1/4 cup of vegetable broth
  1 1/4 cup of unfiltered apple juice
  Greek yoghurt or sour cream (optional)
  a few sprigs of fresh parsley (optional)
  a few warm flat breads such as pita (optional) 

1: Preheat oven to 400 °F.

2: Place chopped butternut squash and apples into a bowl and dump in 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3/4 tsp of chili powder, cayenne pepper, coriander, cloves, cumin, and cinnamon. Mix the spices and oil to coat the squash and apples well and pour onto a baking sheet. Place in oven and allow to roast for 40 ~ 45 minutes at 400 °F.

3: In a large pot or dutch oven, place 1 tbsp of olive oil and butter (if vegan 2 tbsp olive oil) in pot on medium high heat. Be careful not to brown the butter. When mixture is hot place onions, garlic, ginger, and 1/4 tsp of chili powder to the pot. Allow to cook for ten minutes stirring frequently, taking care not to brown the onions. Turn heat down to medium if necessary.

4: Pour in vegetable broth, apple juice, and the roasted squash and apples. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and cook for 30 minutes on low heat. The squash and apples should be very soft and this is crucial for the next step.

5: Pour the soup into blender or food processor carefully and puree until the texture is thick and creamy. This step can be done in batches. Pour the pureed soup into the pot or storage dish making sure consistency is even.

Can be served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or sour cream and a few sprigs of finely chopped fresh parsley. Goes great served with a warm flat-bread.

Vegan Adjustments:
To make this vegan make the following adjustment: replace 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil or margarine and forgo the Greek yoghurt or sour cream.

This will yield a reasonable amount of about 7 or 8 cups, but will leave you with some extra squash most of the time. This dish has an excellent assortment of flavors, encompassing all of the various palettes. It has an almost Indian feel to it in many manners, but also a very Meso-American quality as well. It's a sophisticated spin on a very simple autumn dish and has a lot great side dish parings.