This post was originally published here on October 1, 2014. I’ve since updated the photographs and text to better showcase just how delicious this Fall favorite really is!
This delightfully orange soup doesn’t have a single drop of pumpkin in it. And that’s totally fine by me.
I know pumpkin-mania is in full swing right now. But I’ve always been a butternut squash kind of girl. It’s my favorite Fall/Winter vegetable. And I’d choose it any day over pumpkin, even preferring squash pie over pumpkin pie.
My preference for butternut squash goes way back. In fact, you might even say it’s deeply rooted and steeped in family tradition. As my grandfather’s favorite crop to grow on our farm (we even named his Cadillac the “butternut mobile” because he used to drive around with so much butternut squash in the back seats!), butternut squash was a staple in my house growing up. We hardly even gave pumpkin a passing glance.
So FYI – you can expect to see more recipes here using butternut squash than pumpkin. I hope you’re cool with that.
This Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi is one of those blissfully uncomplicated dishes that you’ll find yourself repeating over and over again. Just toss all the ingredients for the soup base into a big pot and let it rip. Easy peasy.
The apple provides an additional level of sweetness that pairs exceptionally well with the butternut squash. I just love adding apples to all kinds of dishes this time of year. Both butternut squash and apples can so easily transition between savory and sweet dishes. The possibilities are kind of endless.
I have a rule about puréed soups: they should never be naked. So I fried up some sage leaves (aren’t they the prettiest!?!?) and cubed Halloumi cheese to be used as toppings. Halloumi is a fabulous salty, mild cheese that can withstand the heat (it’s perfect for grilling, too!), and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should change that ASAP.
If you try out this recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi, let me know! And what other soups are you craving this time of year? I typically make at least one big pot of soup each week, and I’d love to hear about some of your favorites!
For the Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
For the Toppings
- 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 16-18 fresh sage leaves
- 8 ounces Halloumi cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
- In a large heavy bottom pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except for the heavy cream. Bring the soup to a boil. Then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, covered, for about 30-35 minutes or until the butternut squash is very tender. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool briefly.
- Purée the soup using an immersion blender until it’s smooth. You can also use a regular blender, making sure to work in batches and being cautious while transferring hot liquids. Return the puréed soup to it’s original pot and re-warm it over low heat. Stir in the heavy cream. Taste and add salt and additional black pepper, if desired. Keep the soup warm while you make the toppings.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. It doesn’t have to be very deep. Once the oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them for about 20 seconds per side, just until they are starting to crisp slightly. Don’t allow them to turn dark brown. Place the fried sage leaves on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Now add the cubed Halloumi cheese to the hot oil, working in batches if necessary. Fry the cheese about 20-30 seconds per side, until golden brown. Place the fried Halloumi cheese on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- To serve, ladle the warm soup into bowls. Top with a few fried sage leaves, fried Halloumi cheese cubes and a drizzle of heavy cream.
- Once cooled, the soup can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Recipe adapted from Foodess
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