Winter Squash and Apple Soup
A garnish of fried mushrooms and a drizzle of spiced mint butter adds elegance to this fragrant, seasonal soup, which makes the most of autumn's best produce. This recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Linda Monastra's story True Harvest.
Enlarge Image Credit: Todd ColemanSERVES 6–8
INGREDIENTS2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
2 acorn squash (about 1¾ lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½″ cubes
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into ½″ cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 cup canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. dried mint
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. paprika
INSTRUCTIONS1. Heat olive oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add turmeric, five-spice powder, squash, apples, and salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add stock, and bring to a boil; cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until squash and apple are tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup and then return it to saucepan. Stir in the lime juice and keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°; add mushrooms, and fry until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to paper towels to drain; set aside and reserve oil for another use. Wipe saucepan clean and add butter, mint, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper; heat over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until melted and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
4. To serve, ladle soup into bowls; drizzle each bowl with some of the spiced mint butter and top with some of the fried mushrooms.