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RECIPE: Butternut squash, parsnip, apple soup with a bit of celery, onion, and garlic. Topped with spicy sausage and parsley.

Experimenting for Thanksgiving means trying to figure out quick and tasty recipes that can be made ahead of time. I’ve been combing through Food and Wine, The American Test Kitchen, Cooking Magazine, and more, but I seem to have a hard time staying on any single recipe! The other day I made this really nice and smooth soup that I’m recommending for your Thanksgiving because it’s seasonal, quick, and you can make it ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 1x butternut squash
  • 2x apples (anything you like, but I used Gala)
  • 2-3x parsnips (depends on size, but you want about the same volume as the apples)
  • 2-3x celery stalks
  • 1x onion
  • 2x cloves garlic
  • 4x cups of vegetable broth (use Better than Boullion Vegetable to save time)
  • 2-3x tablespoons of olive oil, or just a good “glug” in the pot.
  • 1x tablespoon medium curry
  • 1x tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1x teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – sausage to top with
  • Parsley for garnish

What to cook with

  • 12-quart pot. Doesn’t have to be crazy big, but enough to get everything in here.
  • Wooden spoon
  • Vitamix (a blender will work, too). Do not use a food processor.
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Timer (seriously, the best timer! Get one if you don’t have one already!)
  • Electric water boiler
  • Pyrex liquid measuring container (ideally 4 cups, but could be 2 cups that you measure twice)

Prep

  1. Halve and seed the butternut squash. Peel the skin with a vegetable peeler. Roughly chop the squash into even sizes pieces. Does not have to be very small pieces, but we want to reduce the size so it cooks evenly and relatively quickly.
  2. Start a kettle or electric boiler with you water for the broth.
  3. Halve, core and peel your apples. It may be easier to peel before halving, by the way.
  4. Peel and roughly chop your parsnip. Should be the same volume as your apples.
  5. Peel and roughly chop your onion
  6. Peel and roughly chop your garlic
  7. Break the tops and bottoms off the celery stalks. It will break naturally where it’s fresh. You want enough quantity after your break and chop to equal about the volume of the parsnips. De-thread it a bit, but don’t waste time. Everything get’s blended in the end.
  8. Now that everything is chopped up, let’s get your veggie broth ready. In a Pyrex measuring container, put the Better than Boullion goop in the container. Grab your hot water from the kettle and pour it in. Stir until that goop is mixed in. Repeat if you had to use the 2 cup Pyrex container.
  9. Once your have your broth, pop that 12-quart pot on the stove top on medium heat, drop the olive oil in there to coat the bottom of the pot. Now we’re ready to cook!

Cook

Once you’ve got your prep work finished, the cooking isn’t too hard.

  1. Make sure the olive oil is shimmering. If it starts to smoke, remove from heat until it chills out. We want the oil hot so we are cooking, but not so hot we burn the ingredients.
  2. Once we’re at a warm-to-hot temp add onion, garlic, butternut squash, and parsnips. Stir with your wooden spoon until coated, but really just try to make sure everything has touched the bottom of the pot once. I usually season with a bit of salt here, but if your diet wants you to watch your salt, you can jump to the next step.
  3. Once coated, add your ground curry, coriander, and cumin. Stir with your wooden spoon until everything is coated.
  4. Add your apples and celery. Stir.
  5. Cover with the lid slightly ajar for 8-10 minutes. If you have some humor and a few bucks, get these little dudes to help you out. 🙂 Stir occasionally.

Aside!

Keep an eye on your veggies in the pot. We want them to cook, but not burn.

If you are cooking sausage with your meal, slice those babies up now. For everyone, let’s grab some parsley and chop it up. Chop it more finely than what you see in my picture so it’s easier for your guests to fit on their spoon.

Back to it!

  1. After 8-10 minutes, your veggies should be relatively soft. If they are not, leave them on the heat for a few more minutes. They should be soft, but not fall apart.
  2. Ok, let’s assume your veggies are soft, but not falling apart. Grab your veggie broth. Pour all 4 cups in there! Give it a stir.
  3. Cover with the lid slightly ajar for another 15-20min. The soup should be slightly bubbling the entire time.

Get ready for the blending

While that’s bubbling away, let’s get ready for blending. One of the most common errors here is over-filling your blender or Vitamix. Only fill your container halfway. With the heat, it will need that extra room in the container. Also, have a plan for transferring this hot-ass bubbling concoction to the blender. Get a stepstool ready if you need it. Get some oven mitts, or get a ladle. Don’t just think you’re going to be able to dump a hot-as-Hell 12-quart pot neatly into your blender, buddy.

Blend it!

Your 20 minutes are up and your soup is looking good! Check that all the veggies are now soft. The butternut squash should not be super soft and squish apart if you press it against the side of the pot with your wooden spoon. Some may still be firmer than that, but no worries because we’re about to pulverize everything!

Transfer your first batch to your Vitamix or blender. Didn’t burn yourself? Great job. If you have a Vitamix, set that puppy to the “Soup” setting and let er rip. If you only have a blender, do this:

  1. Start on low-ish and let blend for at least 1 full minute. Like, a real minute.
  2. Step up to about a medium and let blend for 3 full minutes.
  3. Step up to high and let blend for 5 full minutes.

“What the Hell, Gabe?”, you say! “That’s, like, 9 whole minutes of blending!” Sure is, buddy.

“Help, my blender is not blending and just spinning out!”

If there is not enough liquid in the blender, this will happen. Never fear. Just add water. Tap water is fine. Do not add oil – we are not making mayonnaise. While the blender is running, trickle in water until the food starts processing again. If you’re new to cooking, it may seem like a lot of water. Remember I told you to only fill halfway, right? Well, this is one reason why. You have enough room to fill with water without needing to remove all that lumpy soup from your blender.

Blending is over!

Transfer your smooth soup to a container. Add your next batches and repeat until finished.

Serve

You can serve immediately. Top with your sausage if you went that route. Top with parsley for sure. The parsley gives a freshness to the soup that will be earthy and aromatic.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Mmmm, butternut squash, parsnip, apple soup with a bit of celery, onion, and garlic. Topped with spicy sausage and parsley.
Posted by Intagrate Lite