I have lived in Virginia my entire life. I spent my childhood here, went to college here, and have spent all of my adult life here as well (unless you count those brief years when I crossed into the District). There are a lot of things that I love about this state, but there is one thing that I think Virginia does the best, fall. There’s something magical about the fall here; the leaves, the crispness of the air, and the evenings that are still comfortable enough to sit outside with the help of your favorite sweater. The world around us just seems to get a little bit cozier. To up the cozy factor, I like to incorporate more comfort foods into my weekly meals; one of my favorites is Butternut Squash Soup. If the delicious smell of roasting butternut squash wasn’t enough to tempt you into making this soup, the rich, creamy taste of the final product will do the job. I will caveat ahead of time that I do not usually use exact measurements when I cook so the proportions are a best estimate. I believe that if you cook anything with an extra dose of love it will always taste good. Enjoy!
-2 butternut squash (medium-large)
-1 apple, peeled (yellow or red)
-16 ounces vegetable broth
-2 cups almond milk
-2 tsp paprika
-salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 450. Cut the squash in half long wise and scoop out the “guts” (seeds and such, just like a pumpkin). Place your squash, inside up, on a foiled lined roasting pan or cookie sheet. Rub olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika across the inside of the squash. Place the squash in the oven on the center rack and roast for about an hour or until the inside of the squash is soft (fork should be able to easily slide in and out of the orange squash). Let the squash cool.
While the squash is cooking peel and slice your apple and shallot. In a skillet over medium heat, cook your shallot and apple in olive oil (butter is also an option here if in your diet). Shallot and apple should both get soft, remove from heat.
Once squash is cooked and cooled, scoop squash out of its skin and into a pot on low heat. Combine squash, vegetable broth, apple, shallots, and almond milk and blend using an immersion blender or place inside an actual blender to combine. More or less broth may be needed depending on the size of your squash and your desired consistency.
Get your biggest bowl and enjoy!