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Chai-Spiced Squash & Apple Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 sweet apples, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, etc, peeled and either grated or finely diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, grated
- 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
- 4 cups butternut squash cubes (about 1/2 inch dice) OR 3 cups pumpkin purée, see how to make pumpkin purée, if needed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 5 cups chicken bone stock OR vegetable stock
- apple chips, crumbled, for serving (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Sauté onion and apples. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and apples and sauté until both are softened, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and fresh ginger and sauté until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
- Cook the squash. Add the butternut squash cubes to the pot along with half of the stock. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the cubes are tender and pierce easily with a fork, 10-15 minutes. (To speed up the recipe, you may skip this step if you use leftover roasted butternut squash or pumpkin purée.)
- Purée onions, apples, and squash in the blender. Scrape or spoon the squash-apple-onion mixture into a blender. Blend until very smooth, 1-2 minutes, adding some of the stock if necessary to keep the mixture moving.
- Sauté the spices. Meanwhile, place pot back over medium heat and melt the butter until it begins to bubble, then add in the spice mix and sauté until fragrant, 15-30 seconds.
- Stir all ingredients together. Pour the squash-apple-onion purée back into the stock pot and add the remaining stock, maple syrup, and vinegar. If the mixture is too thick for your liking, add additional stock or water.
- Simmer the soup. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to mingle, then serve hot. Top with apple chips, if desired.
To make as a freezer meal or hospitality meal:
- Prepare soup up through the blending stage, adding the spice mix, maple syrup, and vinegar to the blender as well.
- Let cool, then store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.