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. 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. —Amanda Hesser
clove garlic, peeled and minced
cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
cup chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium
cup apple cider
cup light sour cream
teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
unpeeled Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apple, cored and finely diced
Cracked black pepper
In This Recipe
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.
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.
Ladle the soup among 4 bowls. Garnish with the diced red apple and cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.