Butternut squash soup -- seeking mix-ins
I've made some butternut squash soup and it's nice, but kind of boring. I'm thinking it would be fun to mix things into it. I'm working on croutons -- but what else? Toasted almond slices? Apple? I want to be creative but not too weird, and am going for kid appeal. Thanks.
I've made it hearty with slices of grilled Italian sausage and spinach/kale/chard.
Toasted almonds or nuts of any sort does sound great: peanuts, walnut pieces, pecan, hazelnuts. Mmm.
Hmm.... not sure how much kid appeal this may have as I suppose it depends on the kid to some degree?? At any rate, experiment and find out:
- fry sage leaves in butter until crisp and garnish soup with the leaves and drizzle of sage-scented butter
- crispy fried bacon bits (this one is surely kid approved, right??)
- toast cumin seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, and sliced almonds
- croutons made from cinnamon raisin bread
- cheddar and chive croutons
- drizzle of oil infused with garam masala
- crumbled feta and wilted spinach
- dollop of plain yogurt, that you can then also enhance with other herbs and flavourings like mint, curry, lemon or orange zest, and so on
As to your ideas of incorporating apple, I would just add apples (or apple sauce) directly into the body of the soup so it becomes an apple and butternut squash soup. You don't have to add a huge amount of apple -- just enough to give the soup an added depth of flavour. Then all of the suggestions of mix-ins would work just as well or even better (like the cheddar and chive croutons!).
I second the bacon. I also like seared scallops, or chunks of additional butternut squash, roasted until brown. In the flavorings department, when something tastes a little flat, I'll often add some sherry, a splash of rice wine vinegar, a little bit of homemade caramel, or some sriracha.
1. Crumbled cooked chorizo & queso fresco, serve tortilla chips sprinkled with ground cumin, sea salt & chile powder on the side.
2. Croutons made from sweetened cornbread, cubed & toasted
3. Oven dried proscuitto or salami chips crumbled over the top
4. Dried chopped apple, dates or pears & chopped smoked turkey or bacon