Recently I stumbled upon a recipe for a Maple Apple Squash Soup on the internet. The original recipe used butternut squash and I first had to do some research to find out what butternut squash is called in German. It’s BirnenkÃ¼rbis (pear pumpkin), by the way, which makes sense, since they look like really big pears.
Unfortunately my local supermarkets and grocery stores don’t carry a wide variety of pumpkins, so I eventually settled on the reliable Hokkaido pumpkin. (Side note: You won’t believe the lengths I went to just now to find out what the proper English term is. I still don’t know. Maybe it’s just pumpkin. Maybe wikipedia isn’t as great as everyone says. All I know is that the French term is potimarron, so maybe that’ll help.) I figured, since I’ve never ever handled a pumpkin before it would be save to start with the most common and pumpkin-like pumpkin I know. The Hokkaido pumpkin immediately sprang to mind.
I then proudly carried my little friend home and embarked on my first adventure with pumpkins. The one thing I’ve learned is that pumpkins are very easy to handle. With Hokkaido pumpkins you don’t even have to worry about the skin. Just cut it into pieces with the skin and cook until tender. Easy.
This is a very low maintenance soup, just perfect for a pumpkin greenhorn like me. It turns out pretty sweet, not surprisingly, since maple syrup, brown sugar and apple sauce are also added. I like to sprinkle it with chili flakes and pepper before serving to spice it up a bit.
The recipe said you should prepare the soup one day in advance, refrigerate it overnight and reheat it the next day. Though you can surely refrigerate and reheat, I don’t see why it can’t be enjoyed the very same evening it was cooked. I, at least, broke the rule and had my first bowl of soup the same evening it was cooked and I enjoyed it just as much.
1/2 regular Hokkaido pumpkin or potimarron (about 400 g I think)
60 g butter
30 ml maple syrup
15 g all-purpose flour
scant 20 g brown sugar
250 ml chicken broth
250 ml apple sauce
1/2 tart apple (I think I used 3/4 actually and ate the other quarter right away)
200 ml whipping or light cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
sour cream or creme fraiche
chili flakes to taste (optional, but recommended)
Remove the pumpkin seeds and chop the pumpkin half into rough pieces, then cook until tender. Also coarsely chop the apple.
Mix maple syrup, brown sugar, 30 g butter, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl, then add the cooked pumpkin and mash it all together.
Melt the remaining butter in a bowl, add the flour and stir it all together. Then add the chickenbroth, stirring while it’s happily cooking. The liquid should thicken after a while, and then you can add the mashed pumpkin mixture, the chopped apple and the apple sauce. Let it cook for some time and then puree the whole soup.
At last stir in the cream, then add salt and pepper to your taste and – bam! – you’re done. Easy, just like I said.
I serve the soup with a scoop of either sour cream or creme fraiche. I suppose, whipped cream would do as well, so just do what you like best. I’m a big fan of the German variant of sour cream called Schmand, so this is what I usually go for. I finish it by sprinkling it with pepper (freshly ground, natÃ¼rlich) and those chili flakes. But as always there are tons of ways to serve this fine soup, or just serving it plain in a bowl would work, too.