Velvety smooth and vibrant orange, this creamy butternut apple soup is healthy, easy to make and even dairy-free. The secret ingredient for the creaminess? Canned coconut milk. You're going to love this!
Creamy Butternut Apple Soup
Recently I was privileged to cook dinner for a special gathering of guests with very specific dietary requirements. The “no” list included: no beef, no pork, no high mercury seafood, no shellfish, no dairy, no gluten, no wine or spirits. In addition, it needed to be all natural and organic. Although it sounds challenging, it was exciting creating a health-focused, four-course dinner menu to celebrate the launch of The Daniel Plan. This butternut apple soup was the perfect first course.
The Daniel Plan: Faith, Food, Focus, Fitness & Friends
The Daniel Plan is about being stronger, thinking sharper, and feeling better for the rest of your life. It's a comprehensive approach to living a healthy life developed by top leaders in the world of medicine including Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mehmet Oz in conjunction with Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
The Celebration Menu
The dinner menu included:
- Creamy butternut apple soup with sweet curry
- Tossed market greens salad with raspberries, toasted pecans and raspberry vinaigrette
- Herb and Meyer lemon roast bone-in chicken breast
- Roast carrots and parsnips with herbs and garlic
- Wild and brown rice pilaf with dried apricots
- Lemon almond polenta cake served with fresh berries to finish the feast
Butternut Apple Soup
This velvety soup is made with butternut squash and Granny Smith apples with warming spices of sweet curry, ginger, a little clove and a ground chipotle for some heat. The wonderful creaminess comes from canned coconut milk, not heavy dairy cream, without any coconut taste. Use canned, organic, unsweetened coconut milk, not the refrigerated or ready-made boxed milks. Simmer the squash and apples together until soft, add the spices and coconut milk, then puree until smooth in a blender. That's it.
Working with Butternut Squash
You can use either a whole butternut squash or the ready-to-use cubed and bagged squash to save time and make it easier. If you are using a whole squash, cut it in half crosswise at the neck, use a vegetable peeler to peel the tough skin. Next, scoop out the seeds, cut the pieces in half top to bottom, lay the pieces flat and chop up. Find the cubed ready to go squash in bags in the refrigerated produce section. You will need 2 - 2 ¼ pounds.
Make it Ahead or Freeze It
You can make this soup ahead as it holds 4-5 days in the refrigerator. It makes a great self-serve lunch or appetizer served in mini espresso mugs on Thanksgiving Day. It also freezes beautifully. Thaw soup overnight in the refrigerator, then place the soup in a medium pan over low heat, covered, until hot. Stir occasionally.
Slow Cooker Directions
To prepare this soup in a slow cooker, place all ingredients in the slow cooker, cover with the lid and cook on high for 3 hours, then puree in a blender until smooth and silky.
- 2 ½ - 3 pound butternut squash 2 - 2 ¼ pounds of packaged pre-cubed squash
- 4-5 Granny Smith apples about 2 ¼ pounds, peeled, cored and chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon of mild sweet curry powder
- 1 tablespoon pureed organic ginger in a jar or fresh finely zested
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle powder optional
- 1 pinch ground clove optional
- 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup optional
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives optional garnish
If using a whole butternut squash start here
- Cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the squash. Peel butternut squash with a sharp vegetable peeler. With a sharp, heavy knife, cut across the neck and round base of the squash. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. This will make the squash easier to handle as it will have flat sides. With a tablespoon, scoop out the seeds and fibrous flesh of the bottom of the squash. Discard. Chop the squash into medium chunks.
If starting with packaged cubed squash start here
- Place squash, apples, and water into a medium pot and bring to almost a boil. Reduce heat to low, add the spices, cover the pot and simmer until squash and apples are very soft, about 18-20 minutes.
- Puree squash apple mixture in a blender. Depending on your blender capacity you may need to work in 2-3 batches for safety. Alternatively you can use a hand held immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Add the coconut milk and syrup.
- Heat soup over low heat until hot if you have made it ahead and refrigerated it. Taste for seasoning. For garnish, sprinkle with chopped chives.