Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

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Last night, my co-blogger and I had a dinner party. Not a “oh hey, let’s grab pizza and eat it on paper plates and call it a night” kind of dinner party, but a legitimate, sit-down, sparkling-apple-cider-and-bread-in-an-actual-basket party with more than just the two of us participating. Our guests loved it. They said it was a smashing success, that it was the best meal they have ever eaten in their lives, and that Caty and I should just become queens of the earth already. (This is not verbatim.)

We served butternut squash and apple soup bread and a side salad consisting of apples with Balsamic vinegar, dried cranberries and pecans. We hoped to caramelize the pecans as we did in our grilled peach salad, but chopping squash is more time consuming than you may think. For dessert we feasted on dark chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting from the Ghirardelli cookbook. (Also, some Panera bread cookies that one of our lovely friends brought.) It was spectacular. Pure classiness. Enjoy.

The recipe for The Barefoot Contessa’s Butternut Squash and Apple Soup can be found here.

Note from Caty: Aside from the produce, we did not measure the ingredients exactly. Soup is one of those foods that shouldn’t be hindered by strict guidelines. So, if you prefer to have some freedom with your soup, follow these guidelines (was that a contradiction?):

– Cook onions until they are soft and fragrant. We didn’t time the cooking, but the onions were definitely cooked longer than 20 minutes. This adds more flavor. The same goes for the apples and butternut squash.

– Be generous with salt. I’m sort of afraid of it, but our friend Sophie helped me out with seasoning the soup to taste by liberally adding salt. You will not, as I told her, “die of salt” if you put 2 teaspoons in.

– Balance the liquid to your desired taste and consistency. This may mean adding a larger ratio of apple cider to water if you want a sweeter soup. We used 2 cups of water but only about 1 cup of apple cider.

– If you’re wondering how much “3 1/2 quarts” of soup serves (as we did), there was more than enough for 7 teenage girls.

Enjoy. Stay classy!

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