Photograph by Mikkel Vang
Butternut Squash Soup
1 stalk celery
1 pound butternut squash
½ pound potatoes
Begin by coarsely chopping an onion, a stalk of celery and 2 carrots; you don’t have to be fussy about this since you’re going to end up pureeing everything. Slick the bottom of a casserole or Dutch oven with olive oil, add the vegetables and let them tumble into tenderness, which should take about ten minutes.
Peel a pound of butternut squash and cut it into ¾ inch or so cubes. Peel half pound of waxy potatoes (Yukon Golds are good), and cut into chunks of the same size. Stir them into the vegetables in the casserole, add a couple teaspoons of sea salt and 2 ½ cups of boiling water, cover and simmer until everything is very soft. This will take about half an hour.
Very carefully puree the soup in a blender, in small batches, making sure the top of the blender is secure (hot soup can be painful).
Taste for seasoning and serve drizzled with a few drops of olive oil and/or good balsamic vinegar. A crisp dice of apples on top makes this look lovely and adds a very pleasing note of sweetness. (Diced pickled walnuts also make a wonderful topping.)
Reprinted with permission from My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl (Random House).
More soups for fall: