Butternut Squash & Hard Apple Cider Soup with Sage Croutons (GF, V)

Okay, I'm not supposed to have apples, but I've been testing what I'm supposedly allergic to here and there. Your immune system does in fact change. Bad news: def allergic to apples. Good news: if you're not allergic you'll enjoy this recipe.


Butternut Squash & Hard Apple Cider Soup

Source: Yes to Yolks | Serves: 6 | Time: 50 min


Changes: used vegan butter; replaced onion with fennel; replaced half and half with coconut milk


Ingredients


Soup

1 tbsp EVO

1 tbsp vegan butter

1 fennel bulb, diced (about 1 cup)

4 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh sage, chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1 (12 oz) bottle hard apple cider

4 cups vegetable broth (homemade to reduce sodium)

1 #apple, diced (I used granny smith)

16 oz peeled and cubed butternut squash

½ cup coconut milk

Salt and pepper, to taste


Croutons

5 cups cubed GF baguette (or other crusty bread)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp vegan butter

1 tablespoon “everything” seasoning, plus extra for servings

¼ cup fresh sage leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F and Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat and add the oil and vegan butter.


Add in the fennel, garlic, sage, spices, and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the onion and garlic soften.


Stream in the hard cider and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the hard cider is reduced by about half.


Add in the broth, along with another bit of salt and black pepper, and then bring to a simmer. Add the squash and apple and simmer the soup over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until the squash is very tender and almost falling apart.


While the soup is simmering, spread the cubed bread out in an even layer on a large baking sheet.


In a small saucepan, heat together the oil and butter over medium heat. Add in the “everything” seasoning and fresh sage leaves, cook for a few seconds, and remove from the heat.


Pour the butter mixture over the bread cubes and toss with a spatula to evenly coat everything. Sprinkle a little bit more “everything” seasoning over top of the croutons and then transfer to the oven.


Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the croutons are crisp and golden.


Back to the soup, use an immersion blender or transfer the soup, in batches, to a regular blender and blend until completely smooth.


Return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.


Serve the soup garnished with the croutons and crispy sage leaves.

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