Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Toasted Croutons

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, cubed (optional)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon fresh sage (or thyme), whole

Toasted Croutons:

  • 1-2 slices white bread, cut 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Soup:

  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. When shimmering, add pancetta (if using) and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a paper towel-lined bowl or plate. Set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. 
  3. Add potatoes, butternut squash, and apples. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring as needed, then pour in apple cider vinegar, chicken stock (or vegetable stock), and water. Add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt, curry powder, cinnamon, and whole sage leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Test vegetables with a knife to see if they’re cooked through and tender. 
  4. When ready, discard the herbs and carefully transfer soup to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process, in batches if needed, until soup is fully puréed. Return soup to the pot. If it’s too thick, add a little water. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Toasted Croutons:

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 F. Place cubed bread in a small bowl, then drizzle with olive oil and salt. Place bread on a foil lined baking sheet, then bake for 5-7 minutes, or until bread is lightly toasted and brown.
  2. Top soup with toasted croutons and reserved pancetta. 

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