Butternut Squash Soup with Walnut Cream

This recipe comes from Cousins Heritage Inn in Dexter, Michigan which changed hands in 2008.  Unfortunately,  this restaurant did not do well after that with new owners , then a name change.  It was a favorite for us as Cousins  varied their menu and you were always guaranteed to have some new choices when you dined there.  I have changed the recipe a little and if you enjoy butternut squash you will love this soup.  Delicious…

Butternut Squash Soup with Walnut Cream

  • 4 Granny Smith apples (3 for the soup and 1 for the garnish)
  • 2 butternut squash
  • 12 oz. butter (I used less)
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar (Splenda)
  • pinch of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated (do not use the powdered form)
  • 1/2 tsp. each of fresh orange and lemon peel, grated
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4  cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
  • fresh lemon juice to taste; start out with a tbsp., taste and then add more if desired

Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut in wedges
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • mint leaves for garnish

Comment: I omitted the garnish this time and just sprinkled nutmeg on top

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Instead of a cutting board I used a clean kitchen towel as my base to stabilize the squash and take a thin slice off the top and bottom of each squash with my chefs knife (make sure the bottom is flat).  The kitchen towel prevents the butternut squash from sliding around.  Sit it on its end and with a chefs knife gently rock back and forth as the knife goes down the center of the squash – very easy and the towel keeps it secure.

Split each squash lengthwise and remove the seeds; try to get all of the orange stringy parts.  Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet;  bake in a 400°F oven until tender – this can take up to an hour, give or take, depending on the size of your squash.  Peel, chop up and set aside until ready to add to the soup (be sure to get all the skin off – I left some on by mistake but found it before I served the soup.

Peel, core and chop the apples; combine with butter, brown sugar, spices and the peels in a large dutch oven.  Cover, and stir occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add the squash, broth, apple cider or juice and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is very tender.  I mash it up as I go to speed up the process.  I use my Viking Hand Blender (great gadget as I mix the soup right in the pan) to blend the soup in case there are still some small chunks of squash.    You can use a regular blender to make the soup smoother; just be careful with the hot soup.

Next blend in the cream and heat through.  Finally, add a little lemon juice to taste but not too much – it does add a nice flavor.  As mentioned in the ingredients, start with a tbsp. and go from there.

Finely chop the walnuts and fold into the whipped cream.  Use mint leaves for garnish and serve with apple wedges.

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