Squash, Apple-Cheddar Soup
2-3 lbs roasted winter squash (I used kabocha squash here)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1-2 stocks celery (optional)
2 apples peeled/cored and chopped
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp butter
4 cups water
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 cup grated/aged cheddar cheese
2 cups whole milk
Nutmeg for garnish
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the winter squash in half, scoop out the seeds and flip face down on a baking sheet. Roast for about 1 hour, or until you can easily poke through with a fork.
While the squash roasts, chop the onions, celery and apples. Ready the garlic. Once you have these items prepared, heat butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, apples and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook for 10 more minutes.
Remove the lid and add 2 cups of water and the herbs. Bring to a boil. Cover again and let the mixture gently boil for 8-10 minutes. Reduce to low and let simmer until the squash is ready. (You can also prepare the squash ahead of time so this timing works out better).
Once the squash is ready, scoop the squash out of it's skin into the pot. Add the additional 2 cups water and stir well. Allow this to cook over medium heat for 10-15 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low and uncover. Use an immersion blender (or food processor) to liquify the soup. I like to keep it semi-thick. If you're using a food processor, be sure to not over mix, and then transfer soup back to pot after blending.
Add the milk slowly while stirring until you reach the desired consistency. Now add the cheese. While heat is set to low, allow the cheese to melt completely into the soup! Taste and add salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with a dash of nutmeg. Enjoy!
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