Well, I guess winter finally showed up. I hope all of you up north are snuggled up and warm, safe and sound, at home. Based on my Facebook feed alone, I can tell that a lot of you are enjoying a snow day today!
My girls were dreaming of a snow day today, as they stepped onto the bus. I’ve assured them that once we move, they too will enjoy that “luxury” more often!
I figured that, wherever you are today, it’s a good day for a cozy bowl of soup, so that’s what I’m sharing today. This recipe comes from Food Network Magazine, but I had to tweak it a little bit. When I went grocery shopping, there was a bizarre shortage of fresh butternut squash in the metro-Augusta area. After searching three grocery stores, I gave up, and finally went with frozen squash. It worked out perfectly!
As my frozen squash was cooking, according to the directions, on the stove top, I sautéed some chopped onion, sliced apples, and a potato that I’d diced up in some melted butter.
As the apple mixture was cooking, I sizzled up a few slices of prosciutto that I’d diced up. This crispy prosciutto is used to top the soup, so I wanted it crisp, like bacon. That doesn’t take long because it’s sliced so thin, maybe two or three minutes total.
When it was nice and crisp, I moved it to a paper towel lined plate to hang out while I finished up the soup.
I cooked the apple mixture until the onion was nice and soft, and then added in some dried sage and flour and stirred it in evenly. After that, I added some apple cider and stirred, and scraped, the mixture until it was nice and thick.
Then came some chicken broth, milk (I used 2%), and that cooked squash.
I stirred the squash in evenly, and at this point, covered the pan and let it simmer for about eight minutes, which was enough to cook the potatoes through.
Once the potatoes were cooked, I stirred in two cups of freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese until the soup base was nice and smooth.
Before serving, I used my immersion blender to puree the soup, mixing all of those wonderful sweet and savory flavors together into a velvety smooth, beautifully golden pot full of yummy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender to puree it in batches.
Once it was nice and smooth, I ladled it into our bowls and topped it with that crisped up prosciutto, some chopped chives and a little more of that cheddar cheese. I served it with big hunks of crusty bread, which were perfect for dipping in a bowl of cozy, creamy, deliciousness on a chilly winter night.
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 2 medium apples (I used Gala) peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large white potato, diced
- 1 10 oz. package frozen butternut squash
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ tsp. dried sage
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup apple cider
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- chopped chives, for garnish
- crusty bread, for serving
- Cook squash according to the instructions on the package. Set aside.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, apples, and potato. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the sage and flour. Then, add the cider and cook, over high heat, stirring until thickened.
- Add the broth and the milk, as well as the cooked squash. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so the soup is simmering, and cook, stirring often, until the potato is soft, 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto pieces and cook until crisp, turning often, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- Once the potato is cooked through, stir the grated cheese into the soup over medium-low heat until melted.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender in batches, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with prosciutto, more cheese and chives.
- Serve with crusty bread.