This soup is hearty enough for a meal—just add salad and crusty bread. It’s equally delicious made with Hubbard squash when you can find it! You can also get creative with toppings—a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of pomegranate arils, and perhaps roasted and chopped nuts.
- One 2-pound butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, trimmed and sliced
- 1 apple, such as Macoun or Gala, cut into chunks
- 3 scallions, trimmed and sliced
- 2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- Freshly ground white pepper
Yields 4 servings
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice the squash lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds (you may roast them separately for a crunchy snack). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the parchment and roast for one hour or until a knife tip easily pierces the flesh. Let the squash cool while you continue with the recipe.
Heat a large skillet until hot—a few drops of water sprinkled on the pan will sizzle when it’s ready. Add the rest of the olive oil, the onions, carrots, apple, and scallions; slow-cook until soft but not browned. Add the sherry and cook for another 10 minutes.
Peel the skin from the squash and cut the squash into chunks. Working in batches as needed, place the squash, the other cooked ingredients, and the broth in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the soup to a large saucepan and heat through before serving. Season with the curry powder, if desired, and a few pinches of pepper.
According to ancient Greek mythology, Theseus promised Apollo olive branches and fresh fruit if he triumphed over the fearsome Minotaur. But stores of fresh food were nearly depleted during the return sail from Crete, forcing Theseus to offer this simple soup to the god. And it is fit for the gods!
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, or more if needed
- Three 15-ounce cans cannellini or navy beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again
- 2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled, and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Rustic country-style bread, for serving
Heat a heavy pot, like a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add
2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring regularly. Next, add the garlic, celery, bay leaf, and oregano. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the broth, cannellini beans, carrots, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil for 3 minutes or so. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, adding more broth if necessary.
Remove the bay leaf. Ladle 2 cups of the soup into the bowl of a food processor or a blender jar. (If using a blender, place a folded kitchen towel over the lid and hold it down firmly.) Blend, then return to the cooking pot. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat.
Off the heat, stir in about 1/3 cup of olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Transfer to serving bowls and top each bowl with another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Serve with your favorite rustic bread.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from themediterraneandish.com
Silky and rich-tasting (though it contains no cream), this is one of our favorite fall soups.
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish
- Fine sea salt
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 quart vegetable broth, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh scallions, chives, or parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly coated. Arrange in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until the cauliflower is caramelized on the edges, 25 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking time.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and nearly translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the broth.
Reserve four of the prettiest roasted cauliflower florets for garnish. Then transfer the remaining cauliflower to the pot. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.
Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender, working in batches. (Do not fill the jar past the halfway mark; hold the lid down with a folded towel.) Add the butter, lemon juice, and nutmeg, and blend again. Add more salt, if desired.
Top each bowl of soup with a roasted cauliflower floret, a decorative drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley or green onion and/or chives. This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about four days, or for several months in the freezer.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com
A generous drizzle of fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil before serving gives this soup richness (we love its jewel-like color).
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 medium leeks, trimmed, white and green parts halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced and rinsed (about 4 packed cups)
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup white vermouth or white wine
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 3 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)
- 1/2 packed cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, plus more for serving
- 1 cup raw small shaped pasta, such as ditali or shells (optional), cooked al dente according to package directions
- Crème fraîche, for serving
- Chopped chives and torn fresh dill, for serving
- 1 lemon, for zesting
In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the vermouth and garlic, and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once the liquid comes to a boil, add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, just until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the spinach until wilted. (This will happen quickly.) Stir in the parsley.
Working in batches, transfer the soup to a high-powered blender and purée until creamy. (A food processor or immersion blender would work as well, though they may take a little longer.) Return the soup to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the soup among warmed bowls. Add the pasta, if using, then top with a dollop of crème fraîche. Drizzle recklessly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with a pile of herbs, grate fresh lemon zest on top, and serve immediately.
Serves: 4 to 6 — Recipe from cooking.nytimes.com