Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Butternut Buttermilk Apple Soup With Chorizo

Dear Autumn,

Welcome! It's really good to see you again after the steaming heat of summer left me wilted. I yearned for your cool, refreshing nights and golden mornings of dappled light sparkling through leaves of fiery scarlets, regal golds, and pumpkin oranges. 

And your gifts! Apple trees in rows upon the rolling hills of farms, your branches so heavy with fruit they sag downward for easy picking; your giant (and tiny, too) orange orbs dotting the fields waiting patiently for kids and adults to choose the perfect pumpkin for scary carvings or sweet, warmly spiced pies; your wide variety of cruciferous veggies growing low to the ground for picking and sturdy enough to store through fall and winter. 

Your cabbage family bounty easily lends itself to hearty fall dishes that ward off any chill in the air. Stuffed cabbage rolls with (maybe?) homemade sauerkraut, bacon roasted, crispy edged Brussels sprouts or even Mom's old fashioned cheesy cauliflower casserole grace your season's dinner tables. You can't serve that kind of hearty fare in the sizzling heat of summer! 

And you know you're the season of soup! Nothing warms a home like a pot of stock simmering on the stove filled with the possibilities of what it shall become. Chicken stock. Traditional chicken noodle, perhaps? Or spicy black bean, chicken and rice? Sweet corn? Tomato rice? Beef stock. Hearty vegetable? Or mushroom beef barley? Everybody's favorite onion soup crowned with a big, melty, toasty, cheesy crouton?

Of course, Autumn, I sometimes skip the simmering stockpot completely and make an easy fall soup right in my Vitamix. Why not?! There's so much to do and see and enjoy during your glorious season that time in the kitchen is reserved for your cool and rainy days (and there are plenty of those, too!).

This is a smooth, silky, sweet, tart, slightly spicy soup to serve warm with good and yeasty rolls slathered with lots of butter. The chorizo is a spicy contrast in texture, but if you want to keep this vegetarian soup meatless, use some crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds as a garnish instead. 

Of course, Autumn, I know you don't cook so you won't be cooking up any kind of soup or anything else. Well, except for cooking up sweet, sweet days and warm memories. Thanks for those....you're the best!

Dinner Plan-it

Butternut Buttermilk Apple Soup With Chorizo

  • 3 lbs peeled, cubed butternut squash (you know, the pre-peeled kind in plastic tubs in the market), sprayed or drizzled with coconut oil, sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, roasted at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned and caramelized
  • 1 medium leek, quartered lengthwise, washed, and sliced across into 1" pieces
  • 2 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, diced
  • 1/4 C water
  • 6 T softened butter
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C buttermilk, plus 1 1/2 C additional
  • 1 C apple cider
  • 1/2 t chipotle powder (or more if you like it spicier)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2-3 links Mexican-style fresh chorizo sausage, crumbled and fried crisp
Add to your Vitamix the roasted butternut squash, leek, diced apple, water, softened butter, salt, 1 C buttermilk, apple cider, chipotle powder, and lime juice. Process in bursts until all is smooth and then continue processing until the container is good and warm and the soup is cooked. Yikes, I love the convenience of my Vitamix!

Pour the mixture into a large bowl or other container, add the additional buttermilk and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, warm the soup on the stovetop, adding a little more buttermilk and/or apple cider to thin the soup, if necessary. (Don't thin it until it's warm so you don't thin it too much.) 

Garnish with chorizo crumbles. To make this vegetarian, either don't use the chorizo or garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds instead of chorizo.

NOTE: I served this in tiny espresso cups for a party recently. So pretty!

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