Tinky’s Cider Butternut Soup
Recipe submitted by Tinky Weisblat, and also posted on her blog: In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
- 1-1/2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium apples (fairly solid ones for cooking; I used Ginger Gold), cored and chopped but not necessarily peeled
- 3 cups roasted butternut squash puree (for roasting instructions, see my post about the Blue Heron Restaurant, which has another great butternut recipe!)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon (at least) freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- lots of freshly ground pepper
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups hard cider (I used West County Cider McIntosh, a sweet and fruity cider)
- 2 cups heavy cream (I used Mapleline)
- toasted pecans or croutons for garnish (optional)
In a 4-quart Dutch oven melt the butter. When it begins to talk to you, sauté the onions and garlic until they are soft (about 5 minutes).
Add the apple pieces, and sauté until they are moistened, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the squash, followed by the honey, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir for a minute or two (taking care to keep the mixture from burning); then stir in the stock.
Bring the soup to a boil. Cover it about 7/8 of the way, and turn it down. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until it tastes souplike.
Remove the soup from the heat, and puree it. I used my immersion blender for this (which worked as long as I kept it immersed; when I accidentally lifted it I think I got a little soup on the TV camera!). You may also use a blender or food processor, but be very careful to process this hot soup in batches.
In a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat reduce the cider in half. (This takes only a few minutes.) Add the cream and reduce in half again, whisking (again quite a short process).
You then have a choice. You may either stir the cider/cream reduction into the soup and serve it or put the reduction into a pitcher and let your guests drizzle it into the soup at the table.
Garnish with toasted nuts or croutons. Serves 6.