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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

I'm finally starting to get back in the kitchen, in part because my son discovered the joy of afternoon naps, and in part because I discovered something wonderful called the Moby Wrap, which allows me to "wear" my son and still have both hands free to prep vegetables or throw together a marinade. Once the Mister gets home, I can hand the baby to him, and cook the meal. 

With winter finally making an appearance in Southeastern Pennsylvania, what better meal to eat than a thick and hearty, yet nutritious soup? This butternut squash apple soup from Epicurious is creamy without actually adding any cream, thanks to the potatoes, so it's easy on the waistline — only 180 calories per serving, and 4.4 grams of fat. Bonus? More than 150% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A, thanks to the butternut squash, which is also rich in beta carotene, iron, zinc, and calcium.

The sweet apples are a nice contrast to the savory bacon. The warmth of the cinnamon adds a subtle spice. And the bright color is a nice perk on a dull winter day. 

And on a personal note, in honor of Branny's "Souper Bowl," this soup post is dedicated to Mutts. Mutts was not "my" dog, but I loved him as if he were my own. He was my foster dog from the Animal Care and Control shelter in Philadelphia. I don't know old he was. I don't know anything about his past. He wanted nothing more than to cuddle and play a little fetch. 

But he was extremely dog-aggressive. He attacked my own dogs on three separate occasions. It broke my heart to do it, but I sent Mutts to Rainbow Bridge on March 9, 2010. 

Butternut Squash Apple Soup
Recipe from


  • 6 slices bacon*, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ lb boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped (such as Yukon Gold, white potatoes or purple potatoes)
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples (about ¾ lb)
  • 1 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth*
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Low-fat sour cream, for garnish


  1. Place a 6-quart sauce pot over medium heat, and cook bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add vegetable oil if using lean bacon which doesn't yield enough fat.
  2. Add the celery, carrot and onion to the reserved fat in the pot, and cook, covered on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, peel, core and roughly chop one of the apples. 
  3. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the vegetables, and cook, uncovered for one minute. 
  4. Add the squash, potatoes, the chopped apple, broth, cider, water, salt and pepper to the vegetables in the pot. and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes to 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. 
  5. While soup is simmering, thinly slice the remaining apple into matchsticks. Place in a bowl, cover with water and a generous splash of lemon juice. 
  6. Puree soup in the pot using an immersion blender**, adding up to an additional ½-cup of water if soup is too thick. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. 
  7. Ladle 1 cup of soup into a bowl, and garnish with a tablespoon of sour cream, some of the bacon, and a few apple matchsticks. Serve with crusty bread. 
* - To make this recipe vegetarian, omit the bacon, and cook the vegetables in garlic-infused olive oil, and sub vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

** - If you don't have an immersion blender, cool the vegetables and liquid to room temperature, and puree in a food processor or blender, in batches if necessary. Reheat in a clean sauce pot.

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Wednesday 25th of January 2012

Oh man. What a heartbreaking struggle you must have had with Mutts. I'm sorry :( Thank you for your dedication to him.

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