Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Walnuts

Minoo selected a hearty winter soup recipe for the South Arm Community Kitchen. Squash is great for soup and they are in season in the winter. It is always good to eat produce in season for their freshness and cheap price.

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his Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Walnuts is a recipe from Quebec. It is the maple syrup that distinguishes this soup from others.  You may serve this soup as an appetizer or a stand alone light lunch, You may substitute butternut squash with other winter squash like acorn squash, Kabocha squash, etc. You can also substitute the walnuts with other nuts like cashew or pecan.

Ingredients

Maple Walnuts for topping

  • 1 cup (250ml) walnut pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) maple syrup
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • salt to taste

Soup

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml)  vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 pounds (1 kg) butternut squash, peeled and cubed (you can microwave it for 5 minutes to soften it for easier peeling)
  • 1 1/2 cups (350ml) apple cider
  • 2 cups (500ml) reduced sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste, optional
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup, optional (we did not add this to the soup as the butternut squash is already sweet enough)

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Source: this recipe is adapted from www.alive.com

Serves 6.


Instructions

Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-2To prepare the maple walnuts, measure the walnuts and maple syrup in a bowl.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-3Season with cayenne pepper, rosemary and salt. Stir to combine.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-4Preheat a dry skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnut mixture, cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Be careful not to burn the walnuts. Let cool.

Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-6In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions to pan and cook for 4 minutes or until onions are lightly brown.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-8Add squash. Stir fry for a minute or two.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-9Add apple cider and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce some of the cider.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-10Add sage.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-11Pour in stock and season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-12Flavour with cayenne pepper, optional.  Stir in maple syrup if using.
Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Maple-Walnuts-13Puree soup using a hand blender or food processor until smooth.

If using a food processor or regular blender, do in batches if necessary.

When using a hand blender and the ingredients are chunky, the best way is to place at one spot, blend and pulse and repeat until all the chunky pieces are broken down.

Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with maple walnuts.

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