The Recipes

Spiced Squash and Apple Soup

I hate how pervasive food trends are in restaurants; how once a Greek salad becomes popular, it is on every mediocre menu.  For me in the Fall, the thing I see that I am so tired of is Squash Soup.  To change it up and cut through the usual sweetness of these soups by toasting some spices and giving it some heat.  When you taste it, you get the heat almost after you swallow.  Yum.

Spiced Squash and Apple Soup


Ingredients:

- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-in. pieces
- 1 apple, peeled and cut into 1-in. pieces
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 T. coriander seeds
- 1 T. fennel seeds
- 1 T. black peppercorns
- 2 T. chili powder
- 2 T. cinnamon
- 4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

In a dry saucepan, toast the fennel, coriander and peppercorns until fragrant; about 4 minutes.  In either a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the toasted spices together with the red crushed pepper.  Set aside.

In a large dutch oven, heat a few turns of the pan of olive oil and add the leek.  Season with salt and let the leek soften for about 3 minutes and add in the garlic.  Add the apples and squash, stir, and add in the spices, chili powder, and cinnamon.  Stir and let the spices permeate, then add in the stock.  Simmer for at least 45 minutes.  Transfer the soup to a blender in batches, puree, and return to the pot.  Heat through for another 10 minutes.

For a holiday party, I served this as an appetizer by pouring it into shot glasses.