The origin & inspiration for this recipe holds both dear & significant personal meaning.
OK… that’s a mostly a lie. Actually, none of that is true.
Nothing too personally intriguing to share here. So, sorry to break the news. This post is limited in context only to the single greatest soup recipe that has ever been created, ever, in any kitchen on the face of God’s green Earth, upon any continent, by any chef living or deceased. Since the birth of Jesus. Or before the birth of Jesus.
OK… that’s mostly stretching the truth. Actually, that’s an incredible self-indulgent exaggeration based completely beyond the realm of factual justification… But, we live in Food Blogger World, right??! And, if a recipe posts to a food blog… The posted recipe shall forever. Be. Known. As. The. Best. Recipe. Ever. Created.
So, allow me tell you about the specific moment of inspiration for the Best Soup Recipe ever created by man. Or woman.
In the days following Thanksgiving, lights of Christmas were hung with care throughout the city, store fronts were decorated with holiday theme, & City Center Park was turned into it a quaint ice skating rink – where couples young & old joined together, frolicking merrily under winter’s moonlight. There was a genuine feeling of cheerful spirit vibrant in the air. On Saturday evening, dressed warmly & sitting under blanket upon a horse-drawn carriage, my beautiful date & I gazed over the glorious nature of our city as we strolled through town… then, without notice, a gentle breeze arose. And, with a twinkle from above the first tender snow flakes of winter began to fall. The experience was undeniably magical. And… at that moment, all I could think about was soup.
Golden. Delicious. Soup. Inspiration.
Well… OK. That was all just a bunch of baloney. In fact, I contrived that story of inspiration while eating oatmeal this morning. But, then again… we live in Food Blogger World, right?! And, if a recipe is not equipped with a back-story of inspiration on par with the life & times, hurdles & heroism of Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Larusso, and / or Jackie Robinson… then what type of recipe post would this be??! Just another mundane soup recipe??! Let’s f’in hope not.
OK. Enough is enough… time for a dose of honesty. The true story of Roasted Butternut Squash-Apple Soup.
About 2 weeks ago I was asked to a dinner party by a good friend. Never one to turn down a party, but also never one to agree to party too quickly… the negotiation went something like this (to best of my recollection):
Friend: What you up to next week on Tuesday? Me: Hhmmm??! Well… you know my schedule’s pretty tight with band practice & all. My pipes are near pitch-perfect, “American Idol” is right around the corner, & J-LO is crushing hard to check my vocals. Friend: Well… we all know you’re a legend in the making (in your own mind). So, if Tuesday works… Be there @ 7pm. Bring food & I’ll supply the party. Me: So, what’s the occasion & how many guests?! Details… Friend: Just a small Thanksgiving-themed dinner party. So, dig into your little black book of recipes & come up with something lite as an appetizer. Me: Actually, that sounds fantastic & my vocals could spare an evening of rest (from signing to myself in the shower). But, before I commit… shall this party be stocked with… COORS LIGHT??! Friend: Yes. Me: Boom! On board. Friend: Great – In fact, if you could… a soup would be fantastic. Maybe butternut squash??! Me: Well… with the icy cold Rocky Mountain freshness on hand & great friends near… anything is possible. Butternut Squash Soup it is!
Well… you read this correctly. The inspiration & key motivating factor leading to creation of this recipe was an ice-cold 6-pack of silver bullets. Yup. That sweet slice of liquid gold you’ve come to know & love – dear to your heart & mine. Coors Light Beer. In a can.
How bout them apples?!
That said, as you know, the dinner party was a smashing success. Great friends. Lots of laughs. A “few” icy cold beverages. And, after creating, testing & recalibrating the Butternut Squash Soup recipe… there are 3 things I have found to love about this Soup.
1. It’s an underdog. I say Butternut Squash Soup… You say no chance in hell that’s a winner. Wrong. This thing is the Rocky Balboa of Soups. Full of life, character, content, bold flavor, sweet & heat contrast. When against the ropes & on it’s last leg… Bet the house on Butternut Squash.
2. The beauty of this recipes lies in it’s simplicity – from use of all natural ingredients, to prep & execution. The ingredients are sauteed, pureed, garnished, & from pan to plate within 1 hour.
3. It really does taste incredible & brings me back to those chilly winter days as a youngster, coming in from the blistery cold countryside, warming by the fire with a bowl of soup & cheer of good company. The sweet undertones of the squash & apple play wonderfully upon one another in this creamy concoction… Hearty enough to suffice as a stand-alone meal, or the perfect compliment to any winter main course.
Now… Stay warm. Stay hungry. Make soup. And, carry forth… like a Boss!
In sauce pan over medium heat, bring 2 tablespoons olive oil to a gentle simmer.
Toss in onion & garlic, sautéing 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add squash & water to onion / garlic. Sauté for additional 5-7 minutes.
Pour in chicken stock, add apples, cream, butter, sugar & seasonings.
Bring to boil, reduce to simmer & cook for 30 minutes, or until squash fork tender.
Meanwhile, post relatively ambiguous, passive-assertive, affirmation-seeking Facebook status update, Instagram multiple overhead photos of recipe in progress, pin pictures of your cat, & if time, utilize cellular device to establish loose semblance of plans with friends for approaching weekend.
OK... Remove from heat, pour into food processor & puree.
Sample soup using clean spoon & season additionally, to taste.
Pour puree back into sauce pan, bringing to simmer for additional 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Using ladle, fill soup bowls, then garnish with light dollop of sour cream & green onion.
The Most Amazing French Toast. Sunrise on a Plate.
Author: David, A Bachelor & His Grill
8SlicesChallah or Brioche Bread
1/4CupLow-Fat 1/2 and 1/2
1/2teaspoonCinnamonplus additional for topping
A Bachelor & His Grill's Cran-Apple Conserverecipe below
A Bachelor & His Grill's Roasted Pistachiosrecipe below
Pre-heat oven to "Warm" or 225F.
In small Bowl combine Eggs, 1/2and1/2, Honey, Cinnamon, Vanilla & Nutmeg.
Whisk together all Ingredients until well combined.
Pour mixture into a shallow dish & dip Bread, liberally covering both sides.
In Saute Pan over medium heat, fry both sides of Egg-dipped Bread until Golden Brown, ~2minutes per side.
Place cooked slice of French Toast into Oven until all slices prepared.
Top with A Bachelor & His Grill's Cran-Apple Conserve & Roasted Pistachios, a LITE dusting of Cayenne, & fresh ground Cinnamon/Sugar.
INGREDIENTS: Cran-Apple Relish -16oz Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed -1 3/4 Cup Sugar -1 Cup Water -1 Orange, Zest removed from Peel / Seeded & Chopped -1 Granny Smith Apple, Peeled / Cored & Finely Chopped -3/4 Cup Cherry Craisins -3/4 Cup Walnuts, Coarsely Chopped
METHOD to the MADNESS: –In 4-quart saucepan combine Cranberries, Sugar, & Water. -Stirring occasionally, Cook 5-10 minutes on Medium Heat, or until Cranberries begin to POP. -Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, finely grate Orange peel. -Stir Orange, Zest & Apple into Cranberry mixture. -Cook additional 15 minutes, or until desired consistency reached. -Remove from heat, add Craisins and Nuts. -Place in Large Bowl, Cover, & refrigerate for 30-45minutes before serving.
INGREDIENTS: PIE CRUST: -2 Cups All-Purpose Flour (Plus Extra for Rolling) -1/2 Cup Almond Flour -1 1/4 Cups (2.5 Sticks) COLD Unsalted Butter (Cut in Cubes) -6-8 Tbspns ICE Water -1-2 Tbspns Coarse Granulated Sugar -1 Tbspn Vanilla Extract -1 Tbspn Brown Sugar -3/4 Tspn Salt
APPLE FILLING: -4 Pounds Apples (My Favorites: Honey Crisp / Pink Lady) -1 Orange of Zest (Grated) -1 Lemon of Zest (Grated) -2 Cups Water (for Pre-Grilling Soaking Solution) -6 Tbspns Lemon Juice (4 Tbspns for Pre-Grilling Soaking Solution) -2 Tbspns Orange Juice -3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar -2 Tspns All-Purpose Flour -1 Tbspn Cinnamon -1 Tspn Fresh Rosemary (Finely Chopped & Ground) -1/2 Tspn Nutmeg
EGG WASH: -1 Tbspn Milk + 1 Egg White (Beaten Together Briskly for 3-5 Minutes)
METHOD to the MADNESS: PIE CRUST: -In Food Processor, Combine Flour(s), Brown Sugar, & Salt; Pulse to Mix. -Add Butter & Vanilla Extract; Pulse until Mixture is Coarse. -Add Water 1 Tspn at a Time & Pulse until Mixture begins to “Clump” together. -Recommendation: Pull a Small Amount of Dough & Pinch with Fingers. If it HOLDS – It is Ready. -Pull Mixture from Processor, Place on Clean Surface, & Shape into TWO Separate Disks. -Do NOT Over-work Disks – You should see Little Chunks of Butter in the Disks. -Sprinkle Flour over Disks, wrap in Plastic, & place in Cooler for 1 hour.
-Pull 1 Disk from the Cooler & Allow to Rest at Room Temperature for 10-15 Minutes. -With a Rolling Pin over a Lightly Floured Surface, Roll Dough into 10-12″ Circle and Uniform Thickness… Dusting both sides with additional Flour as Needed. -Delicately place Dough into a 9″ Pie Dish & Press down gently lining Bottom/Sides of the Dish. -Trim Edges of Pie Crust with Kitchen Scissors. -Place in Cooler to Chill while working on Apple Filling.
APPLE FILLING: -Pre-Heat GRILL to Medium -Prepare Apple by Core/Seeding, Peeling Skin, & Slicing each Apple into 4 Equally Thick Rings. -Soak Apple Rings into Solution of Water/Lemon Juice for 3-5 Minutes Prior to Grilling. -Water/Lemon Solution: 2 Cups Water / 4 Tbspns Lemon Juice -Pull Apples from Solution, Coat with Butter, & Place over Warm Grates. -Cook Apple for 2-3 Minutes per Side over INDIRECT Heat, basting additionally as needed. -Pull from Grill & Sprinkle with Lite Dusting of Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, & Fresh Ground Rosemary. -Place on Dish, tent with Foil & Allow to Rest for 3-5 Minutes. -Untent Apples & In Large Bowl Combine All Ingredients EXCEPT Flour… Mix Thoroughly. -Fold in 1 Tspn of Flour at a Time & Continue to MIX Until ALL Ingredients Evenly Distributed.
-Pull Pie Crust from Cooler & Load Pie with Filling.
LATTICE CRUST TOP: -Just Prior to Working on Lattice… Pre-Heat Oven to 400 Degrees. -Pull Disk #2 from the Cooler & Follow Disk #1 Steps… Through Rolling Dough into 10-12″ Circle. -With a Pizza Wheel or Knife (with Straight-edge) Cut even Strips of Dough – 1/2-3/4″ Thick. -Lay Strips Down Over Top of Pie & Fold one over the other in the Fashion of your Choice. -Trim the Lattice Strips Flush with the Underlying Pie Crust, Fold over Edge of Dish & Crimp Together.
-Apply Egg Wash over Lattice Top & Edges of Pie Crust using a Pastry Brush. -Sprinkle Liberally with Coarse Granulated Sugar.
-Place in OVEN 30-40 Minutes, or Until Golden Crust, Pie is Baked Through, & Apples are Tender. -Pull From Oven & Allow Pie to Rest for 10-15 Minutes… Crack a Window & Let the Gentle Breeze Fill your Home with an INCREDIBLE AROMA of Warm Apple Pie.
-NOW… Slice, Plate, & Serve with a LARGE Scoop of VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM!! Enjoy! :)
INGREDIENTS: -2 Mango (peeled, halved, & seeded) -2 Stalks Celery Hearts (chopped thin) -2 Cloves Garlic (peeled & minced) -2 Kiwi (peeled & diced) -1-2 Crisp Apple(s) (peeled & diced) -1-2 Jalapeno (minced & maintain/remove seeds to taste) -1 Green Bell Pepper (diced) -1 Tomato (diced) -1 Onion (peeled & diced) -2 Tbspns Olive Oil -2 Tbspn Lime Juice -1 Tbspns Apple Cider Vinegar -1/2 Tbspn Ground Cumin, or to Taste -1/2 Lemon Zest -1/2 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves (chopped) -1/4-1/2 Bunch Fresh Cilantro Stem/Leaves (chopped) -Salt/Pepper to Taste
METHOD to the MADNESS: -Apply Mango Halves Face-down onto the HOT Grates of your Grill. -Fire that Mango for 4-5min TOTAL, Turning 1/2 Rotation after 2-3 Minutes. -Pull Mango from Grill, Chop, & Set aside. -In Saute Pan over Medium/High Heat, pour Olive Oil. -Bring to a simmer & Add Garlic / Onion. -Saute 3-5min, or until Onion begins to turn Golden in color, Remove from Heat, & Set aside. -In Separate LARGE Mixing Bowl… Combine ALL other Ingredients, GRILLED Mango, & Sauteed Garlic / Onion. -Mix THOROUGHLY… Ensuring Spices, Zest, & Juices are WELL COMBINED. -Chill for 30min-1hr Prior to Serving. -Pull from Cooler. -Again… Mix THOROUGHLY. -Drain of Excess Liquid & SERVE!! :)
David Olson is a nationally-recognized American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef, television personality and social network influencer, award-winning recipe developer, live fire grill master, international adventurer, and the creator behind, “LiveFire Republic”…