Amanda & Merrill

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup: 1993

November 19, 2010

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup

- Amanda

Each week, over the next few weeks, I'll feature recipes from different eras that appear in The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

This is a great soup to have in your everyday arsenal. It’s sweet, purely flavored and can be made in a flash. The recipe came from Canyon Ranch, back when the Berkshires spa was little known but expensive. Now it is just the latter. I think it's the perfect thing to serve the week after Thanksgiving, when you still crave the flavors but need a break from the heft.

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1993: Butternut Squash and Cider Soup


Jodi Eisner, Livingston, NJ, email.

“I’ve given this recipe to so many people, who have told me that they’ve passed it to so many people, that I do believe that if you come to my Livingston neighborhood on Thanksgiving day, you can smell all the pots of it simmering!”

Cooking Notes:

The recipe called for a red Rome or Delicious apple, neither of which I found tart enough. I changed it to Honey Crisp or Granny Smith.

Serves 4

  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  •  1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 unpeeled Honey Crisp or Granny Smith apple, cored and finely diced
  • Cracked black pepper

1. Heat a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add the shallot, garlic and 1/4 cup water. Cook until the shallot and garlic are softened, being careful not to let them burn, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the squash and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.

2. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Holding the top down with a towel, blend until smooth. Add the cider, sour cream and salt. Continue blending until well combined. The soup can be made ahead up to this point. Place in a clean saucepan over low heat until heated through. Season with additional salt if needed.

3. Ladle the soup among 4 bowls. Garnish with the diced red apple and cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.


August 29, 1993: “Food; Remedial Eating” by Molly O’Neill. Recipe by Barry Correia, the chef at Canyon Ranch in upstate New York.

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PFossil November 21, 2010
What happens if you use yogurt in this instead of sour cream? Does it behave the same way, or will it curdle?
amanda_lester_trevelino November 21, 2010
I've experimented with a similar vegan butternut squash and cider soup using veggie stock and a dash of cinnamon.This is just the reinforcement I needed to make for Thanksgiving! Thanks.
allie November 20, 2010
This may be heresy, but has anyone made this using frozen squash (already purreed?)
dymnyno November 19, 2010
I made this last week after finding myself with an abundance of roasted butternut squash (contest leftovers!) . My butternut squash, however, had been first glazed with a little olive oil and dusted with brown sugar and cayenne pepper as my recipe had called for. The rest of the soup was made according to the directions in this one. It smelled wonderful. The apple cider gave it a little more acidity and the cayenne pepper really added to the flavor...just as it had it my spicy butternut salad recipe.
AntoniaJames November 19, 2010
This is another one I clipped from the Times and have made, many times. Such a great recipe! I've also made it with roasted pumpkin, when I had quite a bit of it on hand, gently cooking it with the shallots and garlic (oh, and I often add a touch of fresh ginger with the garlic and shallots) and using a touch less chicken broth. Of all the recipes I clipped from the Times over the years, this is one of my favorites. ;o)