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Divas: A simple, seasonal and sensational soup

Maybe I’ve been inhaling too much pumpkin spice candle, but I felt a change the air this week. I’m choosing slippers over sandals, and long sleeves over t-shirts, and soups over salads.

Butternut squash and apples are in season and on sale in autumn. Butternut squash is such a versatile veggie. It can be sweet or savory, goes in casseroles, makes a lovely side dish and can be the star of the show if you halve it and roast it. But my absolute favorite way to serve this squash is in soup.

I adore the hint of sweet when you add apple to savory squash soup. The sage parmesan crisps are divine to dip and add some crunch. A side salad is all you need to make this a beautiful meal for entertaining. If you like more protein, add crumbled bacon or sausage to the soup or switch the crisps for grilled cheese sandwiches. In the photo, I dotted the soup with heavy cream and fried sage leaves. Pretty, and delicious!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP

What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion – chopped – about 1 ½ cups

3 to 4 pounds butternut squash – peeled, seeded and cubed

3 medium apples of your choice – peeled, cored and chopped

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon turmeric – optional

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper – start with an 1/8th and dial it up to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup heavy cream

Here’s How:

In a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil on low. Add onions and cook slowly, stirring frequently. When the onions are soft, add the squash, apple and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the squash is very soft – 20 to 40 minutes depending on how big you cubed your squash. This is a good time to make the crisps – recipe below.

When the squash and apple are very soft, puree with an immersion (stick) blender. Or let the soup cool and puree in batches in a blender. Return soup to pot once pureed. Add the seasonings and cream, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.

FRIED SAGE LEAVES

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small pan, add sage leaves (found with fresh herbs in produce) a few at a time. Let them sizzle for about 10 seconds and remove with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and drain on paper towels. Use the sage-infused oil to make the crisps.

SAGE PARMESAN CRISPS

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (or use sage oil from above) add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Heat until garlic is fragrant. Brush the oil on thin slices of French bread or baguette. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and crushed sage leaves. Garnish each crisp with a large leaf. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes (depending on how thin you slice the bread) until bread is toasted and crisp.

I hope this weekend finds you sipping a mug of this velvety, creamy soup. Enjoy!

Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at “DivasOnADimeDotCom”

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