Yesterday, I had a wonderful cup of Apple Butternut Squash soup at the Whole Foods in Southwest Austin. This morning I have looked everywhere for the recipe, including Whole Foods’ website and through Google, and the only one that came the closest was a recipe by Williams and Sonoma, but still it seems to fall short. Can you help me find the recipe?
— Aelia Akhtar
Dan Marek, who has the title of healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods Markets, gave us a slightly modified version of this savory sweet soup that is popular in many Whole Foods stores.
Marek says that his busiest time of the year is January, when people set New Year’s resolutions that they might or might not keep, but this soup could be one way to sneak in a relatively healthy dish before 2012 ends. He says that you easily could swap almond milk for the cream for a vegan soup, and if you are really looking to cut back on the calories, skip the olive oil.
Apple Butternut Soup
1 large (or 2 small) butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 cups vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash, apples, onions, olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl and then place on a large rimmed baking sheet. (Depending on how large your squash is, you might need two baking sheets.) Bake until caramelized and fork tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Place the roasted squash, apple and onions in a large pot, add broth and cream. Simmer for 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can let it cool for at least 20 minutes and then puree in batches in a blender or food processor.) Serves 8 to 10.
— Adapted from a recipe by Dan Marek, healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods Market
After last week’s pfeffernusse story, I got a handful of readers’ cookie recipes, but it’s likely none of them have been made quite as many times as Rebecca Brown’s sugar cookie recipe. I’ll let her tell the story:
You are probably overwhelmed with “cookie stories,” but I felt like I really wanted to share mine with you. The Christmas of 1969, my husband was a major in the Army and we were stationed at Fort Polk, La. We had a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. One of the wives in the office who was from New Orleans shared the following super simple recipe with me. They are so easy and perfect for making with small children and small grandchildren. I have made thousands of these cookies during the past 43 years and shared the recipe with many friends and published it in church cookbooks. My daughter has probably made them by the tens of thousands. The only change we ever made was to substitute butter for the margarine. In 1969 margarine (or oleo) was the “health food,” and butter was the bad food! You can decorate them however you’d like, and my husband’s favorite topping is a pecan half, which toasts nicely and is great with a cup of tea.
— Rebecca Brown
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco (or other vegetable shortening)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together the butter, Crisco and sugar. When mixture is light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients, adding milk at the very end.
Dough can be chilled or formed immediately. Gently roll into walnut-sized balls and place on Silpat, parchment or greased cookie sheet. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar (I used a tart tamper) to a circle that is about 1/4-inch thick. Decorate with seasonal sugar or candies.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes four to five dozen.
— Adapted from a recipe by Rebecca Brown