Butternut Squash Soup

The vegan version of my grandmother's butternut squash is on 
photography Blue Caleel 

photography Aaron Delesie

Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6-8

I’ve been making a version of this soup for over 20 years. I started adding brandy when I first started catering. My grandmother, Jean Darling, serves this as a main meal by adding Danish sausage and freshly sliced apples. If I serve it as an hors d’oeuvres I serve it in a demitasse cup or tall shot glasses with Brandied cream fraiche or a chiffonade of mint. We’ve served it both hot and chilled (add more apple juice if you serve it chilled.)

2 butternut squash (about 3 pounds each, so 5 to 6 pounds total)
2 apples, peeled and chopped (I like Fuji the best, but you can also use Braeburn or Gala)
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cups chicken stock (We recommend low salt Swanson’s Natural Goodness if you are not using homemade stock)
2 cups apple juice
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
fresh ground pepper (3 grinds)
½ cup apple juice, only if needed
2 tablespoons brandy, optional
crème fraiche and/or fresh mint for garnish, optional

1. Peel and cut the squash. A vegetable peeler works best. Wear gloves if you have them and peel all the way down to the bright orange layer (don’t leave any white part, it is flavorless and grainy). Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon. Cut into chunks.
2. Melt butter and oil in an 8-quart or larger pot. Add chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions occasionally over medium heat until they are soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Add the squash chunks, apples, chicken broth, and apple juice to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until tender (about 40 minutes). Test with a fork.
4. Puree with a handheld emersion blender or in batches in a regular blender or food processor. (But be sure to let the soup cool slightly if using a regular blender otherwise the lid will blow off and you’ll have soup all over the kitchen!)
5. Add salt, pepper, brandy and apple juice. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Also note that if you want thicker soup add less broth and juice and if you want thinner soup add more. Note that store bought chicken broth is saltier than homemade. Be sure to adjust the seasonings depending on the saltiness of the broth.
6. Serve soup warm in winter or chilled in the summer. In winter we garnish it with brandied crème Fraiche. In summer garnish with a chiffonade of mint. This soup freezes very well, so make extra and then you’ll have quick dinners on hand in your freezer.

Draft 4, edited by Maili 10-11-06, Draft 3 corrections by Ann Hutchison 11-14-05, Draft 2 Edited by Maili 11-10-05, Draft 1 typed by Ann Hutchison 11-9-05
Maili Productions Cookbook Maili Halme Brocke November 9, 2005


Anonymous said…
Have you ever tried using pumpkin instead of butternut for this recipe? I grew cinderella pumpkins this year and I'm looking for ways to get rid of it!
Maili Halme said…
You can definitely use Pumpkins in the recipe!

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