I do not understand the pumpkin spice latte craze. I really don't. And I have tried.
Last weekend, we went up to Fort Bragg again, and on Saturday morning, I went to the local coffee shop, and I tried my first pumpkin spice latte. And I'll admit, I could not figure out what all the fuss was about.
However, I am not one willing to give up on fall because of a failed pumpkin spiced latte. No, sir. No, I am going to love autumn with all of its reds and oranges and cozy socks and the hint of rain. And I am going to look wildly forward to December when we finally get real fall here, the tree up my block turns a blazing red, and I finally get to pull out my sweaters.
In the mean time, I am making squash soup. And lots of it. And then when I grow tired of eating it, I am putting bags of it in my freezer so that I can trot it out in January or February when I don't feel like cooking.
This number comes from Ina Garten, and it's as simple as can be. I found it to be a bit sweet with the addition of both apples and apple juice. But then I cut it with a dallop of yogurt, and, well, all was right with the world.
And thus with this soup, I am fully ensconced in my love of autumn.
Not even an ill-planned pumpkin spice latte could throw me off my game here.
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!
3 1/2 Quarts
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chopped yellow onions (about 3 large)
2 Tbsp mild curry powder
5 pounds butternut squash (about 2 large)
1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh or Gala (about 4 apples)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups water or chicken broth
2 cups apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup yogurt
1. Warm the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over low heat. Add the onions and curry powder and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.
2. Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.
3. Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water or broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Cool the soup.
4. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender in batches. Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple cider and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like it; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper, reheat the soup, and serve hot with a dallop of yogurt.