I’m writing this on the drive home from Nashville.
It took all my effort to shout that. I am worn out.
It’s been 10 days of travel — two very different trips, but both soooo awesome. I called the BBF nearly every day and talked his ear off. Seriously, the guy is such a good sport.
On my final day of travel, here’s a little tidbit of wisdom: There’s definitely something to be said for a quiet life. Nights on the couch. In PJs. The BBF on one side. Remote control on the other. I seriously plan on making my head hit the couch pillow in about six hours. Which means I will be asleep in about six hours and two minutes.
Y’all. Let’s talk about Nashville. OMG. Out of control fun. Lights, crowds, and COUNTRY MUSIC. Heyyyyy *insert hands-in-the-air shimmy-shake hip-swirl.* My girl Sara is getting married in January, so we ate, we drank, we danced — we took Nashville by storm. Mmm hmm.
So that explains my exhaustion and incoherence this morning. Thank you for hanging in there.
Now. Butternut Squash Apple Soup. I still have apples. What is going on? I have made SO MANY apple dishes. This may be the last one. But I can’t promise.
This one is very exciting because it’s the first thing I made with my awesome new immersion blender, which has already had some serious action. Within the first 24 hours of ownership, it immersion blended three – THREE! – foodstuffs. What did I ever do without it?
You will love this soup. Simple, whole ingredients combine for a complex flavor. It’s a warm, fall soup, but the apple lends it a bright, crisp tone. A healthy lunch or dinner. It’s exactly the homey dish I want to slurp on tonight, curled up in oversized sweats, seconds before my head hits the pillow.
(Update: I did fall asleep right around 8 pm, but was wide awake at 3:15 am. That’s what I get, I suppose.)
Butternut Squash-Apple Soup
- 4 pounds butternut squash peeled, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 4 large sweet-tart apples
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dry sage
- 6 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- chopped pecans to garnish
- sliced apples to garnish
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss squash and apples in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using dry sage, sprinkle with sage before baking. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 30 minutes. If using fresh sage, toss in sage after 30 minutes. Roast for 15-20 more minutes until the squash and apples are very tender and starting to brown.
In a large stockpot, combine squash and apple mixture with broth. Use an immersion blender to blend soup to desired consistency.* Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.
Garnish each bowl with chopped pecans and sliced apples, if desired.
*If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in several batches using a regular blender or food processor.
The BBF’s rating: Weeeell, the BBF told me about how he opened his last container of white chili that I had given him (mind you, this is white chili that Mom made last winter and it has been in my freezer for that long), only to be disappointed by the site of Butternut Squash Apple Soup.
My rating: 4.5/5 stars. I don’t care what the BBF thinks. This soup is seriously goooood. I want more.
Update: I had given it 5 stars, but Mom gave it 4.5 because she really liked it herself, but it wouldn’t necessarily be on the menu if she were throwing a dinner party. Hmm… perhaps I am too liberal with the stars?