Apple Squash Soup
- 2 apples
- 2 pounds winter squash such as butternut, kabocha or acorn
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cans (14 oz. each) chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup half-and-half *
- 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Reserve half an apple for garnish. Core and dice 1-1/2 apples. Pare and cut squash into 1 to 1-1/2-inch cubes. Combine diced apples, squash, onion, broth and wine in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 to 40 minutes or until all ingredients are tender. Puree mixture in food processor or blender. Return pureed mixture to saucepan and add cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste. Bring mixture to boil and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to blend flavors. Core reserved apple and cut into thin wedges. Sauté wedges in olive oil until golden on both sides. Stir half-and-half into pureed mixture and heat thoroughly. Portion soup into bowls. Garnish each with an apple wedge, a dollop of sour cream and pomegranate seeds.
*Measure half-and-half and let it stand at room temperature while squash is cooking to prevent it from curdling when it is added to the simmering soup.
For squash: To make it easier to remove skin, halve squash and place cut side down in microwave-safe pan. Cover with plastic wrap and fold back one corner to vent pan. Microwave on high 5 to 7 minutes or until partially cooked and squash is easy to pare and cut.
For pomegranate seeds: For an easy way to remove pomegranate seeds from pulp, cut pomegranate in half between the stem end and blossom end. Loosen and break the outer skin along the cut edges. Hold the fruit, cut side down, over a medium bowl and tap the uncut surfaces with a wooden spoon. The seeds will loosen and fall into the bowl.
Substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian-friendly option.