Registered dietitians have an arsenal of food-related tools and knowledge at their disposal. Want rich baked goods without the extra fat? Use pureed fruit in place of butter. Hankering for tons of flavor without salt? Toss in chopped fresh herbs. Looking for creamy soup without the cream? Blend root vegetables, winter squash and/or cauliflower into the soup for a fluffy, creamy texture — or use all three for thrice the taste!
As the weather grows cooler, I look for ways to embrace the changing season. I leave the berry crisps and homegrown salads of summer behind and search for the harvests of autumn. And when hot soups begin to sound incredibly comforting, I know we’ve reached the seasonal hand-off of the culinary baton.
Butternut squash soup is a common dish in our autumn/winter rotation; here, I’ve added plenty of spices and topped the soup with another autumn favorite: a roasted tart apple. As any dietitian knows, having a blender on hand is the easiest way to get creamy soups in no time. Celebrate the changing seasons by blending a soup of your own!
Butternut Apple Soup with Cauliflower “Cream”
Recipe by Jessie Erwin, RD, LDN
1 butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 medium sweet potato, quartered
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1/4 cup skim milk
1 firm tart apple, such as Granny Smith
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon sweet curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1/2 teaspoon black cumin, ground
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay butternut squash and sweet potato on baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Set aside. When cool enough to handle, scoop butternut squash from the skin and discard skin.
- While squash and potatoes roast, steam cauliflower for 25 minutes, or until tender. Set aside. When the squash and potatoes have 15 minutes left, chop apple into 1/2 inch pieces and lay on roasting pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until pale brown.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Add curry powder, coriander and cumin, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in butternut squash, sweet potato, and 1/2 the roasted apples.
- Transfer the soup to a blender (in batches if necessary) and puree until smooth. Transfer to saucepan on stove to keep warm. Add salt and pepper to taste. Clean blender jug, then add cauliflower and skim milk. Puree until smooth.
- Pour squash soup into four bowls and drizzle the cauliflower “cream” on top. Divide the remaining roasted apples among the bowls and serve immediately.