This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to an apple orchard (http://bit.ly/ofejSs) and the need to find creative uses for a bushel of apples! A few years ago, I made a paella recipe that called for lots of smoky Spanish paprika. It was my first real encounter with the ingredient, and today it’s become one of the staples in my pantry. There’s just enough in this soup to add a smoky depth and richness that nicely complements the earthy squash and sweet apple flavors. —Sugar On My Tongue
medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large dice
medium red apples (look for sweet/tart and crisp), peeled, cored and cut into large dice
small onion, diced
medium clove garlic, minced
teaspoons coarse salt
teaspoons ground cumin
teaspoon ground coriander
teaspoon smoky Spanish paprika
chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
cilantro, optional for garnish
light sour cream, optional for garnish
Toss diced squash with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and spread out on foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle pinch of coarse salt over squash. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until squash is fork tender and lightly caramelized.
While squash is cooking, toss diced apple with lemon juice, and set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, salt and spices and sauté for 2-3 more minutes, being careful not to burn garlic.
Add apples, water and stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until apples are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
Puree roasted squash in batches with the apple mixture, in a food processor or blender, until smooth, and return to saucepan. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Heat over low, thinning with more water if necessary to get desired consistency, for 5-7 minutes before serving.
To serve, ladle into shallow bowls, and top each serving with 1 Tbsp of light sour cream (optional) and a sprig of cilantro (optional). For some extra color and flavor, sprinkle some additional smoky paprika over the soup.