Butternut Squash, Carrot, Red Pepper and Apple Soup

I can’t believe how long it has been since I shared a recipe! Life has been crazy with an almost 6 month old, wintry weather and my first trip since baby to visit friends in Texas.  I haven’t forgotten you and I haven’t stopped cooking so without further ado, finally, a recipe!

I made this savory, rich soup for dinner on Monday and I just finished the last of it for lunch today.   It’s delicious, full of vegetables and perfect for a snowy day like today.  The  butternut squash pairs well with the sweetness of the carrots and apples while the onions and red peppers balance everything out.  I love the chili pepper paste by Gourmet Garden in the produce section of the grocery store; all you need is a teaspoon for that delicious flavor and heat.  The only downside is that is requires lots and lots of chopping and dicing but you’re stuck inside anyways, right?! Happy cooking and stay warm.

DSC_0380What to buy (serves 6-8):

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste
  • 2 (small to medium sized) sweet onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 (large carrots), chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash,  peeled and chopped, seeds discarded
  • 2 (small or 1 large) apple, chopped – (I picked Gala)
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  • heat a large pot on medium-high heat
  • add butter, garlic, chili paste, onion, bell pepper and carrot, sauté for 5 minutes
  • add the butternut squash, apple, broth and balsamic
  • bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer,  add spices, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the squash and carrots have softened
  • using a blender (in small batches) or an immersion blender, purée the soup
  • garnish with crazy feta or chopped fresh herbs and croutons

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