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!”
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.
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.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).