Ben’s Nepal Tea, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
One of the great benefits to having a Summer garden is being able to enjoy the splendor of your efforts in the Fall and Winter. We were able to put up potatoes, onions, squash, apples, carrots and garlic as well as lots of produce that we froze and canned. The apples that haven’t been pressed into cider have been looking a little sad, so we found this fantastic recipe for Butternut Squash and apples that is heavenly. And when I say “we” I don’t actually mean “me” since I had nothing to do with this for the most part. I simply brewed the tea for the recipe then went back to work and waited for dinner. It was worth the wait! I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did. Oh, and if you can … find someone else to make it … I’m convinced it makes the soup taste so much better that way!
Ben’s Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Nepal Black Tea
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1lb apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup brewed Nepal tea (1cup water + 2tsp Nepal black tea)
Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Roasted walnuts, for garnish
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften (approximately 3 4 minutes). Add the squash, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (approximately 8 minutes, depending on how large your squash pieces are).
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and pour over the 2 tsp of Nepal black tea. Cover and steep for 4 minutes. Strain out the tea leaves.
To the saucepan, add the apples, salt, cumin, coriander, ginger, black pepper, stock, and the brewed tea. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very soft (again depending on the size of your pieces this can take approx. 25 minutes).
Turn off the heat and, with an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return to the burner and re-heat on low heat. Add more water or broth if the soup needs to be thinned.
Turn your broiler on low and toast walnut pieces.
Ladle the soup into bowls and put in a dollop of sour cream and some toasted walnuts. Perfection!
VARIATION: We tried this version as well and we LOVE it.
Ben’s Soup (above) with Roasted Vegetables
Preheat the oven to 420.
Chop vegetables into cubes (2″ approximately). We usually use potatoes, squash, onions, garlic and carrots – but choose your favorites.
Place the cubed veggies in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and rosemary.
Choose a baking dish that is large enough to accommodate the veggies in one layer (8×8 or 9×12). Spray the dish with canola spray and arrange the veggies in a single layer. Cover with aluminum foil.
Cook for 30-40 minutes until soft. Remove the foil, turn the oven to Low Broil, and broil the veggies until crisp and brown (not burnt).
If necessary, thin the soup with a little extra veggie broth. Put some roasted veggies in a bowl and ladle the soup over the vegetables. This is hearty and incredibly delicious!
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