Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Sage
Recipe by Chef Jeff Mall, down home: downtown
Butternut Squash & Apple Soup:
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 green apples (about 1 pound total), peeled, cored, and chopped
6 fresh sage leaves
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 teaspoons organic apple cider vinegar, preferably Nana Mae’s
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup crème fraîche
1⁄2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
11⁄2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Crispy Sage Leaves:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 fresh sage leaves
Salt for sprinkling
For the soup: In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Stir in the squash, onion, apples, and the 6 sage leaves. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables and apples are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the stock, vinegar, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cream. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to the soup pot and keep warm.
For the lemon cream: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until blended.
For the crispy sage leaves: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it foams. Add the 10 sage leaves and sauté until crisp, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and break the leaves into smaller pieces.
Ladle the hot soup into shallow bowls. Top each with a dollop of lemon cream and a sprinkling of sage leaves and serve at once.
Makes 6 to 8 first-course servings.
Photography by Alan Campbell Photography