When it begins to get cool, I fall in love with cooking again. It happens every year around this time. I love the bounty of summer for its delicious flavors that require a minimum of preparation. However, it’s autumn, with its shorter days, cooler temperatures, and changing leaves, that makes me want to cook. In the summer, cooking means slicing a ripe tomato and sprinkling it with salt. In the fall, the heat from the stove is no longer my nemesis and I look forward to filling my house with the smell of food simmering, roasting, and braising.
A week or two ago, I saw a display of pie pumpkins at my local grocery store and couldn’t help but pick one up. The orange globe sat on my counter as I impatiently waited for a day cool enough to make my first soup of the fall.
The day finally came and this soup seemed to be the ideal soup to kick off fall. It contains the best of autumn: apples, butternut squash, and pumpkin. Onions, apples and carrots are sautéed in butter. Then slices of butternut squash and pumpkin are added. Curry powder with its intoxicating scent adds complexity to the soup and makes one’s home feel warm and inviting. And the best part? This soup needs to simmer for about 45 minutes which means that on a cool autumn day you can curl up with book and just enjoy the smells of cooking.
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 1/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled and sliced
1 lb pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 stick cinnamon
6 cups water
1 cup Half and Half
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or pot. Add onions, apples, and carrot slices and saute on medium low for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Add sliced pumpkin and butternut squash, curry powder, ground allspice, ground cloves, and 1/4 stick of cinnamon. Stir to combine then add 6 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 45 minutes until vegetables are very soft.
Remove pot from heat and working in batches puree soup in a blender or food processor. Return pureed mixture to the pot and stir in the Half and Half. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Heat soup over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. To achieve the swirl effect shown in the picture above, ladle soup into bowls and pour a little half and half into each bowl. Swirl gently with a spoon. Enjoy.