Perhaps you have stumbled into my luck this fall and you, like me, have a fridge and counter top over flowing with autumnal produce bounty from your CSA or local farmers market. What’s there? Butternut squash? Sweet Potatoes? Peppers? Carrots? Apples? Yes, so many apples.
When faced with this insurmountable vegetable haul and not enough time to fully deal with it I did what I usually do: made a soup. That way it keeps longer and I can eat it for lunch and dinner, either as a compliment or as a main course. This soup is flexible and can be made vegetarian or not and you can easily omit or substitute ingredients (just not the garlic and onions which form the base of the flavor) depending on what you have. The color is a deep orange, which reminds me of the leaves I saw up in Maine, and it all just screams, “Fall!”
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1-2 sweet peppers, chopped
1 hot pepper of any sort (or red pepper flakes)
1 tart apple, chopped
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
Sage, thyme, cumin, curry powder, salt, pepper to taste
Place about 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, stirring constantly. Add the celery, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, apple, salt, pepper and herbs and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the stock and increase the heat until the soup is bubbling rapidly. Lower the heat, cover and simmer the soup until the vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. This might take several blender loads. Do not fill the blender more than 1/3 full unless you want hot soup all over your kitchen. Enjoy the taste and color of fall!