Savory Ap­ple But­ter­nut Squash Soup ‘won­der­ful’

Rel­ish Austin

Austin American-Statesman - - FOOD & LIFE - Ad­die Broyles Ap­ple But­ter­nut Squash Soup could be served as the first course of a hol­i­day din­ner. AD­DIE BROYLES / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Q: Yes­ter­day, I had a won­der­ful cup of Ap­ple But­ter­nut Squash Soup at the Whole Foods in South­west Austin. This morn­ing I have looked ev­ery­where for the recipe, in­clud­ing Whole Foods’ web­site and through Google, and the only one that came the clos­est was a recipe by Wil­liams and Sonoma, but still it seems to fall short. Can you help me find the recipe? — Aelia Akhtar A: Dan Marek, who has the ti­tle of healthy eat­ing spe­cial­ist at Whole Foods Mar­kets, gave us a slightly mod­i­fied ver­sion of this savory sweet soup that is pop­u­lar in many Whole Foods stores.

Marek says that his busiest time of the year is

Jan­uary, when peo­ple set New Year’s res­o­lu­tions that they might or might not keep, but this soup could be one way to sneak in a rel­a­tively healthy dish be­fore 2012 ends.

He says that you eas­ily could swap al­mond milk for the cream for a ve­gan soup, and if you are really look­ing to cut back on the calo­ries, skip the olive oil.

Pre­heat oven to 400 de­grees. Toss squash, ap­ples, onions, olive oil and salt and pep­per in a large bowl and then place on a large rimmed bak­ing sheet. (De­pend­ing on how large your squash is, you might need two bak­ing sheets.) Bake un­til caramelized and fork ten­der, 25 to 30 min­utes.

Place the roasted squash, ap­ple and onions in a large pot, add broth and cream. Sim­mer for 20 min­utes. Puree with an im­mer­sion blender. (If you don’t have an im­mer­sion blender, you can let it cool for at least 20 min­utes and then puree in batches in a blender or food pro­ces­sor.) Serves 8 to 10.

Af­ter last week’s pf­ef­fer­nuesse story, I got a hand­ful of read­ers’ cookie recipes, but it’s likely none of them have been made quite as many times as Re­becca Brown’s sugar cookie recipe. I’ll let her tell the story:

You are prob­a­bly over­whelmed with “cookie sto­ries,” but I felt like I really wanted to share mine with you. The Christ­mas of 1969, my hus­band was a ma­jor in the Army and we were sta­tioned at Fort Polk, La. We had a 3-year-old daugh­ter and a 1-year-old son. One of the wives in the of­fice who was from New Or­leans shared the fol­low­ing su­per sim­ple recipe with me. They are so easy and per­fect for mak­ing with small chil­dren and small grand­chil­dren. I have made thou­sands of th­ese cook­ies dur­ing the past 43 years and shared the recipe with many friends and pub­lished it in church cook­books. My daugh­ter has prob­a­bly made them by the tens of thou­sands. The only change we ever made was to sub­sti­tute but­ter for the mar­garine. In 1969 mar­garine (or oleo) was the “health food,” and but­ter was the bad food! You can dec­o­rate them how­ever you’d like, and my hus­band’s fa­vorite top­ping is a pecan half, which toasts nicely and is great with a cup of tea.

— Re­becca Brown

Pre­heat oven to 400 de­grees. Cream to­gether the but­ter, Crisco and sugar. When mix­ture is light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla and beat un­til well com­bined.

In a medium bowl, whisk to­gether flour, bak­ing soda and salt. Slowly add flour mix­ture to wet in­gre­di­ents, adding milk at the very end.

Dough can be chilled or formed im­me­di­ately. Gen­tly roll into wal­nut-sized balls and place on Sil­pat, parch­ment or greased cookie sheet. Flat­ten with a glass dipped in sugar to a cir­cle that is about ½-inch thick. Dec­o­rate with sea­sonal sugar or can­dies.

Bake 8 to 10 min­utes. Makes four to five dozen.

The sweet­ness in the Ap­ple But­ter­nut Squash Soup comes from roasted ap­ples, onions and but­ter­nut squash.

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