My favorite autumn recipe comes from my married daughter, Caroline, who introduced me this creamy Chai-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Peanut Garnish just a few weeks ago. It quickly became one of my most shareable dishes.
The warm, inviting spices of Chai—cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cardamom give the soup its subtle flavor. Apple cider and a peanut garnish add a touch of sweetness.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup chopped white onion
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ cup chopped fennel
3-1/2 cups gluten-free low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup apple cider
½ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Chopped peanuts (salted or unsalted) for garnish
Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent; about 6 minutes. Sir in cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cardamom. Cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about one minute. Stir in butternut squash, fennel, chicken stock and apple cider. Cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the butternut squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Take from heat and let cool. Blend the soup in small batches until a smooth puree is obtained. Return to pot and stir in milk and salt. Bring soup to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more spice if desired. Garnish with peanuts.
Short on time? Try this quicker version.
Use a chai-flavored tea bag instead of the spices. A good recipe can be found at The Daily Tea.
As we’ve shared favorite recipes with each other despite many miles between us, Caroline and I both have developed a renewed love for cooking. This new recipe may become a favorite for your family, as well.