Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Cheddar Biscuits
Awwww… look how much the squash and apples love each other. They know that they taste really good together, as evidenced in this delicious soup. I first made this years ago, back when I was watching Food Network all the time. My favorite show was Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, because I think that was the food that I related to the most. I also found that many of his recipes could easily be adapted to make them vegan.
I had to laugh when I watched the episode of Top Chef Masters where the chefs had to cook for Zooey Deschanel, who requested vegan, gluten-free food. I couldn’t believe how baffled Chiarello was about what to make. I’ve only ever made vegan versions of his food. I was a little shocked that all the chefs (with the exception of Rick Bayless) were so totally stumped. Aren’t these supposed to be some of the best chefs in the whole world? And they seriously had no clue what to do when the animal products were removed from the picture?
Chiarello could have easily made his butternut squash and apple soup. See it up there? Totally vegan. The original recipe calls for butter and chicken stock, and I guess he wouldn’t think that it could still work without them. I sub Earth Balance for the butter and vegan bouillon for the chicken stock. (I use bouillon because it costs less and takes up less space than the quart size containers of stock.) With two such minor changes, you can see that it doesn’t take a lot to make this soup vegan.
And I’m sure it tastes just as good, if not better, because it tastes pretty awesome. It’s savory, and a little sweet. I used this with toasted spice rub that I had in the freezer for about four years(!), and it still tasted great. The toasted spice rub is really interesting in this – spicy, but not overpowering. And on the whole, it’s pretty easy to make. The hardest part is peeling the apples and squash. This soup would be great for Thanksgiving, and also really impressive garnished with the optional candied walnuts, which I was too lazy to make last night.
I love having biscuits with soup. I had some Daiya in the fridge and thought that cheddar biscuits might go really well with this because of that crazy cheddar-cheese-on-apple-pie thing that people do. I found this recipe after a quick online search, and it probably took me less than five minutes to mix together. It was so incredibly easy – especially with my handy ice cream scoop helping me plop the dough down on my cookie sheet. I added a half teaspoon of garlic powder to the dry ingredients, and I baked them at 450 instead of 475. Next time I make these, I’ll brush the tops with melted Earth Balance and sprinkle on garlic salt, but I didn’t have any on hand last night.
Remember how I said (just yesterday, was it?) that I’m trying to eat more healthy foods? Please just know that the biscuits were really essential to the meal last night, and the soup was just begging for them. You see, the soup was healthy, so it counteracted any unhealthiness that might have been going on. It’s nice how I worked that out, huh?