butternut squash and apple soup

My grandpa passed away on Monday morning.  His passing wasn’t shocking, as he has been in poor health for months, but the loss of a loved family member is always devastating and difficult to come to terms with.  I thought I’d take some time to write about my grandpa, and reflect on my relationship with him.  

As the oldest of his grandchildren, I feel lucky that I had the most time with him.  I have memories of him when he was still active, he could remember my name, and he loved to take me fishing.  My favorite memories of my grandpa are out on White Iron Lake in Ely, Minnesota fishing for walleye, and most specifically, The Old Fart.  The Old Fart was a fish my grandpa told me was the biggest fish in the lake.  He claimed to have had The Old Fart on his line one time, only for it to get away from him.  Every year he would talk about catching the infamous fish, and one year in school I wrote a short essay about it. 

The Old Fart
by a much younger Taylor

“The Old Fart…he’s out there.  I know he is.  We’re gonna catch him today!” said my grandpa.  Every year I go to visit my grandparents cabin in Minnesota.  I love going up there and I love fishing, especially with my grandpa.  Even if he gets a little mad when a fish takes his bait or he runs into a log with the boat, he’s always fun to fish with.  He keeps all the fish we catch even if they’re obviously not “keepers” and he always says “it’s a good-sized fish” or “sure, it’s a keeper.”  The boat he has isn’t huge but we can all fit if we sit close together.  It makes me feel warm even when the weather is freezing and the wind is blowing me over.  We never have caught the Old Fart but we will someday, I know we will. 

I can’t remember what grade it was that I wrote it, but for some reason the project was to put our essay onto a paper grocery sack.  Mine ended up getting framed as a gift for my grandpa, and was on display at his funeral today.   

Now, onto the soup.  I went a little crazy the first time I saw squash at the grocery store, and snagged a few.  Then my in-laws gave me an extra squash that they had.  Needless to say, I am going to turn orange pretty soon from all of the squash I’m eating!  No complaints here, though….I love it!  Since I also had an abundance of apples from the Ellingson Apple Orchard (Marc’s dad’s orchard), I put my produce to use and made this butternut squash and apple soup.  
 
The apples give the soup a sweetness, which is balanced out by the squash and savory spices.  I paired the soup with rosemary crackers from Trader Joe’s which I am ob-sessed with, and happily ate this soup every day for an entire week.  It’s just so yummy and comforting…it is perfect for the chilly fall nights.  AND it’s healthy!  I added a splash of milk (okay, maybe 2 splashes) which gave the soup all the creaminess that I wanted.  You could use heavy cream too, if you’re into that.  
butternut squash and apple soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped into 1" pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp corinader
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2-1 cup milk or cream

Directions

  1. In large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add diced onion and cook about 4 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add apples, butternut squash, and spices and cook another 10 minutes, until squash and apples start to soften up.
  4. You may need to add a little more olive oil to coat the squash and apples.
  5. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender.
  7. Remove from heat and blend with immersion blender.
  8. Add milk and stir to combine.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Enjoy!
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