Honeynut Squash and Apple Soup with Crispy Sage

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Every Fall, I make a couple of seasonal soup batches to keep in my fridge and freezer for a quick and healthy bowl to eat whenever. I usually go for the classic butternut squash to make this soup, but this year we have adorable small versions of it. Mini butternut squash, also known as a Honeynut squash, was created at Cornell University by a plant scientist and a master chef’s collaborative efforts. Because they are smaller than the original vegetable, they have a sweeter flavor and more densely packed nutrition. After finding this information out, I was tempted to do my annual fall squash soup with this squash. Paired with tart apples, a hint of ginger, and topped with crispy sage for texture, this is a perfect bowl of comfort food.

Ingredients:

  • 4 honeynut squash (peeled, cubed)
  • 1 apple (I used Stayman, peeled & sliced)
  • 1 large shallot (or 2 small, diced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh ginger (minced)
  • 2 carrots (peeled, chopped)
  • 1 quart of broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 handful of sage leaves (for garnish)

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Arrange your squash in an even layer on a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil and salt & pepper and roast for 20 minutes or until just beginning to become tender.

2. When squash is done roasting, heat a layer of olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute your onion and shallots until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Add in your carrots, squash, apples, ginger, honey, thyme, and a little more salt and pepper to your preference. Cook these for about 5-6 minutes and then add your broth and bring to a light boil. Allow to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

4. Once the soup is done cooking, turn off the heat and let it cool down for 15 minutes to safely work with it. In small batches, begin blending the soup until just smooth with no chunks. Store in a jar or serve immediately.

Crispy Sage:

  1. In a skillet, heat a layer of olive oil until it is just beginning to ripple. Make sure your sage leaves are dried before adding them to your pan. Any water will stop them from crisping up.
  2. Add all your sage in carefully and cook for about 30-45 seconds, or until all are crisped around the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and let them dry on a paper towel. Sprinkle with coarse salt and use as a garnish for soup.
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