I catered a private dinner party recently and when I made this soup, I KNEW I had to share. It's so velvety and rich, and the texture of the creamy soup with the sauteed apple and crispy time is HOLY SH*T amazing!
The secret to soups is layering flavours, every time you go to the next step, season with a pinch of salt; because if you get to the end with a bland soup, and you try to bring up the seasoning then you are likely to be left with a salty and flat tasting soup.
If I can impart one soup tip to you today it's season ALL. THE. WAY. THROUGH!
As far as this recipe is concerned, you want to start the onion off and cook it until caramelized which will make the soups ever so rich; this takes about 10-15 minutes of consistent stirring. Once they become fragrant, translucent and caramelized, then you add the sweet potato and squash.
You may be inclined to add the sweet potato, squash and stock all at once, but NO, you want to let the squash and potato get a little colour too; because those brown bits are flavour and flavour is my business;)
Once you colour the squash and potato, then you can add the stock and season again with salt and pepper (the amount of salt quoted in the recipe, use it season throughout the cooking process). Bring it all up to boil and cook until the squash and potato are falling apart.
MEANWHILE, in a non stick saute pan, you want to cook the apple pieces until they become savoury and delicious. You don't want to stir the apples to much because you want to them to become caramelized, so resist the urge to stir too much.
Once the apple is cooked, remove them from the pan, add more oil and allow it to heat up; and then add the fresh thyme leaves. They will pop and crack- don't be alarmed - after 1 minute strain them through a fine mesh strainer and then lay out on paper towel to cool. Reserve the oil, because now it's deliciously thyme flavoured.
Once the soup is cooked, and the squash and potato is falling apart, remove from heat and let it cool about 5 minutes. Then in small batches add the soup to the blender with coconut milk and blend until smooth.
TO SERVE garnish the creamy soup with crispy thyme and caramelized apples.
So now that you know, step-by-step, how to prepare this soup, here's the recipe!
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 3 litres chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 large apples, cored and cut into bite sized cubes
- 1/3 cup thyme leaves, stems removed
- 2 tbsp olive oil + 1/4 cup + 1 tsp
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring consistently, for 10-15 minutes or until caramelized. Add the sweet potato and the squash, season and cook stirring for 5 additional minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cook until the squash and potato is falling apart.
MEANWHILE heat 1tsp olive oil in a non stick pan, add the apple and cook until caramelized; about 7 minutes. Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and add the remaining oil to the pan, add the thyme and cook for 1 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and lay the thyme out on paper towel to cool.
Once the soup is cooked cool it for 5 minutes. In batches, blend the soup with the coconut milk (add a small amount to each batch).
To serve garnish with apple and thyme.