(Loving Living Local) – Susan had the pleasure of being joined by renowned chef and author Chef Natasia Staten.
Chef Staten introduced a delightful recipe for Apple & Butternut Squash Soup, providing a unique twist to accommodate those who may not typically enjoy butternut squash.
Her approach involved using more apples than squash to create a nice blend of flavors.
The was as follows:
- The chef heated approximately 2-3 ounces of extra-virgin olive oil in a pot.
- Carrots were introduced into the pot, contributing both flavor and vibrant color.
- Red onions joined the mix to infuse sweetness into the soup.
- Chef Staten then added diced Granny Smith apples, known for their tartness, enhancing the overall taste profile.
- To prevent apple discoloration, she drizzled lemon juice over them and stirred the ingredients.
- Cinnamon was incorporated to provide a warm and spicy note to the soup.
- Nutmeg was introduced for a touch of earthiness, while cayenne pepper added a touch of Louisiana-inspired heat.
- Vegetable stock, approximately 32 ounces, was poured in to form the base of the soup.
This soup was vegan-friendly too!
While the soup simmered, Chef Staten also demonstrated how to prepare cinnamon croutons. She recommended using slightly stale French bread or a similar variety. Here’s how she made them:
- Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bread.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne for a spicy kick.
- Thoroughly mix the ingredients to ensure the bread is evenly coated.
- Toast the croutons in a preheated oven at 350°F, with vigilant monitoring, as they tend to brown quickly.
As the croutons baked, Chef Staten highlighted that the addition of cinnamon brought a delightful sweetness to these savory croutons, creating a perfect balance with the soup.
Once the croutons were ready, and the soup had simmered to perfection, Chef Staten employed an immersion blender to achieve a smooth, velvety soup consistency. This handy kitchen tool simplified the blending process and proved invaluable.
The final result was a mouthwatering Apple & Butternut Squash Soup that combined the flavors of apples, carrots, onions, and squash with hints of cinnamon and cayenne.