Apple and Squash Soup means that fall is HERE y’all!
I’m going to be honest with you for a minute. Soup gives me a bit of PTSD.
Is that odd?
Sous Chef Jobs
Here’s the deal though. When I was a Sous Chef at a restaurant (that shall remain nameless) I had to make two soups every day – not that hard. However, it was a bit of a challenge during the summer months when one of my line cooks took a 4-week vacation, and we were in the middle of cutbacks so I was left to run the morning and afternoon banquets, cook breakfast, lunch, and the pool menu with two other people (covering all stations including salad, hot-line, fish line, grill, and sauté) and assist the PM line with their menu items, oversee a staff of people who were all at least 2X my age, make staff meal for 60+ people, and come up with a different brunch menu every week and make said menu. All in a day’s work. Some days I miss it. Just a little.
Soup can be pretty easy – it’s really a great way to use up the odds and ends leftover from big banquets or menus without throwing away things. However, I couldn’t make just “any” soups.
The soups could not be repeated within 14 days of each other (so a fresh one every day) and during summer one of the two soups had to be a cold soup. Do you know how many days of summer there are, and how many cold soups there are?
The relationship is not equal in the slightest bit.
I actually bought the book “365 Soup of the Day” (Williams Sonoma sells this book for $35 and Amazon sells it for $12, so you can decide who you want to purchase from). It helped a little but did not have nearly enough cold soups for what I needed.
It gets worse than cold soup
Also, there was a certain guest who was rather… supercilious. We, in the kitchen, called him the “soup nazi.” He wanted navy bean and ham soup on Tuesdays, Clam Chowder on Fridays, and Beef and Barley every other day in between. All summer long.
The navy bean and ham and clam chowder are the only two soups that were ever allowed to be repeated (and they are both hot soups – so it really doesn’t help the cold soup situation in summer).
Anyways, the soup nazi complained about the soups, all the time. One day, he complained about my Processco Strawberry cold soup, saying that he just wanted Beef and Barley (I think the hot soup that day was actually my classic chili). He said that I was getting “too creative” with the soups.
What? Strawberries and prosecco are pretty basic – like as basic as a white girl (me) and non-fat half-the-flavor-pumps pumpkin spice lattes.
Not. That. Creative.
Side-note: people loved that soup. There was an admin that hated pretty much everything, but she raved about that soup. She went out of her way to compliment me on it. Cute old ladies loved the soup. But not the “soup nazi.” Unfortunately, the restaurant I worked at only cared about complaints, so no more strawberry prosecco soup.
I can take a hit or two on my cooking. And I always want clients to be honest. But this guest wanted Beef and Barley every day, even when it was 108 F outside (Yes it actually was that hot on the particular day he complained and asked for beef and barley soup…. it wasn’t funny at the time).
While this guest in particular was a bit of a nuisance, it wasn’t all bad there. I have many stories about wonderful guests too. There are wonderful people that dined there and some that I miss quite a bit. The good and the bad are part of any business.
Back to Apple and Squash Soup
There are other reasons (still stemming from my time at an “unspecified” restaurant) but we don’t need to go into them here. So now you know some of the reasons why soup can give me PTSD. And also why there aren’t many soup recipes on the blog. Chili is more of a meal and less of soup, so I don’t count that one. You’ll also notice there aren’t a lot of brunch items — another PTSD topic. However, after two years of being away, I’m ready to start creating some recipe magic again!
Fall is all about turning over a new leaf – to be poetic in a pun-ily metaphorical way (Sorry, I’m great at dad jokes – Ian (my husband) didn’t think that was funny, but I’m keeping it because this is MY blog).
So, without further ado, this is one of my favorite soups. It’s thick and velvety, and it’s pretty much a one-pot meal. You can add in Italian chicken sausages if you’d like some more substantial protein, or you can keep it completely vegetarian by using vegetable stock or water and topping with crispy shallots instead of the bacon.
Some Quick Tips
Also, this recipe makes a lot of soup. If you want to halve it you’ll have enough for about 4 starter portions or a light dinner. It freezes great too though!
During fall I like to keep some in the freezer to give out to friends or family as a “thinking of you” happy fall gift! Since it’s frozen they can decide to use it when they like, rather than changing around their meal plan.
You can nix the bacon if you want to keep it vegetarian, or the ricotta if you’re looking for dairy-free (sub the butter too for olive oil). Your paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian friends will LOVE this recipe!
For vegan garnishes, try chives or crispy shredded potatoes for a salty crunch!
The Ginger — some people are not ginger fans in squash soup. I personally love it. If you’d like to just try it, I suggest grating just 1″ instead of 2″. You can always add more but you can’t add less!
The apple — I love the apple component of this soup. I wrote 2-3 apples down depending on how “apple-y” you’d like it to turn out. If you want the apple to be the biggest flavor, add in the 3rd. If you want the apple to be more of a background flavor to compliment the sweet squash and sweet potato flavors, just do 2!
The Squash — You can use a small Kabocha (as I did here, it’s a bright green squash with bright orange insides), 1 Butternut, 1 small pie pumpkin, 1 or 2 small acorn squash, or whatever you can find!
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Apple & Squash Soup with Bacon and Ricotta
A one-pot meal, full of fall flavors and easy to add extra protein, or just keep vegetarian! You can also make this prep faster by using pre-cut and peeled squash and sweet potatoes if you prefer. I think they can be a bit less flavorful, but it’s up to you!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
3 Tbsp of Butter (or olive oil)
2” of ginger (optional) (sliced if using Vitamix or grated if using an immersion blender)
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Large onion, diced
2–3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and diced (~2.5 cups)
2 Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced (~2.5 cups)
1 Small Kabocha Squash Peeled, de-seeded, diced (~3 cups)
1 –2 Cups Water, Veggie Stock, or Chicken Stock + more for blending.
1 Rosemary Sprig
2 Thyme Sprig
3 Leaves fresh sage, finely chopped (or 2 tsp ground)
1# Bacon, diced
8oz Ricotta Cheese make your own or use store-bought!
1. Peel all of your apples, squash, ginger, and sweet potatoes.
2. Dice your onion and mince your garlic and ginger.
3. In a large soup pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add in onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Keep the heat on low. Add in a pinch of salt.
4. Meanwhile, dice all of your fruit/veggies. Remove the core from the apples and the seeds from the squash. Try to make all the dices the same size shape. (The smaller the dice the faster everything will cook. I usually for a 1/2″ dice).
5. Add all of your diced apples/squash/sweet potatoes to the pot with onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir to coat in the butter and onion mixture. Add in a pinch of salt and a crack of pepper.
6. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent browning, until all the ingredients are soft.
7. Finely chop the herbs together. Add in the herbs and a pinch or two of salt.
8. Add in stock or water. The liquid should just barely cover the top of the softened vegetables/fruit. You can always add in more when blending!
9. Simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Add a pinch of salt. And more herbs if needed. Meanwhile, dice your bacon (if using) and sauté until crispy. Set aside to drain while you finish the soup!
10. Once flavors have developed, working in batches, carefully scoop mixture to fill a Vitamix blender halfway full, and blend until silky smooth, adding more liquid as necessary. Pour into a heatproof serving dish, or back into a clean soup pot to reheat before serving.
11. Once all the soup is blended, reheat if needed, or serve right away. If saving for later, cool as quickly as possible, without a lid on the container/pot and then package as needed.
12. To serve: ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of ricotta and a sprinkle of bacon (if using). Or garnish with chives, green onions or crispy shallots for a dairy-free and vegan option!
*Instead of using a Vitamix blender, you can also use an immersion blender. If you do this, you’ll still have some smaller lumps in the soup but it will still be good! I recommend grating your ginger and garlic in this case because the immersion blender will not be able to puree finely enough.
- Serving Size: 10oz
- Calories: 362
- Fat: 20.8
- Saturated Fat: 8.5
- Carbohydrates: 28.6
- Fiber: 5
- Protein: 16.5
Keywords: Squash, Fall Dinner Ideas, Dinner, Lunch, Soup, Apple, Easy