Here is the perfect soup for a warm fall evening, after a day of apple picking or a visit to a country farmstand. You can garnish this silken soup with finely shredded smoked ham if you like. With a vegetable or green salad and toasted walnut bread, you have an easy menu for a Sunday night supper that asks almost nothing of the cook at the last minute. There is a lot to be said about the simplicity of serving chilled soup.See Mangia Catering Menu
- 2 medium butternut squash (2 1/2 pounds)
- 6 cups fresh apple cider
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thime
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces creme fraiche, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds. Wrap the squash in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour. Remove and let cool.
- In a large saucepan, bring the apple cider to a boil with the ginger, salt thyme, pepper, and nutmeg and simmer it for 20 minutes. Let cool, then strain.
- When the butternut squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh carefully. Place the squash, in batches, in a blender or food processor with the apple cider mixture and puree. (The puree should be thick but easy to ladle.) Transfer to a large bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Close to serving time, bring creme fraiche to room temperature; whisk briskly with a fork until smooth. Remove the soup from the refrigerator and stir to make uniform. If it has thickened while standing, thin ti with apple cider to the desired consistency.
- To serve, spoon some creme fraiche into each bowl and ladle the chilled soup around it. You can also serve the creme fraiche separately, in a bowl, for passing.
Prepping in advance: the soup can be made 1 day ahead through step 4. When ready to serve, proceed with steps 5 and 6 to finish and serve.