Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Sage and Gruyere Croutons

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Sage and Gruyere Croutons
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tablespoon butter
  2. 1 onion, small dice
  3. 1 carrot, small dice
  4. 1 celery stalk, small dice
  5. 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, medium dice
  6. ½ yellow or white potato peeled, medium dice
  7. 2 small apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  8. 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
  9. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 3-4 cups chicken stock
  11. The zest of one orange
  12. Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  13. Sour cream or cream fraiche for garnish
  14. Croutons
  15. 6 sliced rustic bread, cubed
  16. 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  17. 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  18. ½ cup Gruyere, grated
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion, carrot, celery, squash and potato in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, cooking until vegetables begin to brown slightly. Add apple, ginger, and garlic and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add stock, and orange zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce. Continue cooking over medium heat until squash is very soft and flavors have merged. Use a hand-held immersion blender to purée the soup. (Alternatively, the soup can be puréed in batches in a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender). Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  2. Serve the soup hot or cold, garnished with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
  3. Croutons
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine bread, butter, and sage in a bowl until well tossed and bread is coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until bread begins to turn golden and toasted. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake an additional minute or two until cheese melts.
  5. Serve over soup.
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