Butternut Squash and Cider Soup
Adapted liberally from “The Essential New York Times Cook Book” by Amanda Hesser
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
cumin sour cream (1/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 tsp cumin)
2 tsp chopped cilantro
cracked black pepper
1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, add shallot, garlic and 1/4 cup vegetable broth. Cook until the shallot and garlic are softened, being careful not to burn them, 3-5 minutes. Add the squash and the remaining vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
2. With a potato masher, press the squash down until semi-pureed, then add the cider and with an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth. Add the sour cream and the salt, and continue to puree. If soup looks too thick, you can think it down with more broth, if you have any on hand, or with more cider. Continue to taste. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir – this should make your butternut squash more squash-y tasting, if you can believe it.
3. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls. Garnish with cumin and lime sour cream, chopped cilantro, and cracked black pepper.