Did you catch our Chefs at Home recipe series this summer? If you followed along, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! We had so much fun with the series that we’ve gone back to our executive chefs to see what they’re serving up this holiday season. The first in our holiday recipes at home series is from Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island’s  Director of Food & Beverage/Executive Chef Brian Dandro, who previously held the role at Royal Sonesta Boston. Read on to learn about the inspiration behind the recipe and to learn how to make this delicious soup at home.

While local farmers continue to produce some amazing squash varieties, when it comes to soup, I stick with butternut. The yield per squash is always great, the flavor is a nice balance of sweet/nutty and I love it’s creamy texture when blended.

Living in New England and not being a big fan of cold weather, I always turned to food to make me happy when the weather changed, this soup always did the trick!

Butternut-Apple Soup
1 quart roasted butternut squash
1 – preferably Macintosh, Granny Smith or Gala
1 medium sized yellow onion
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1.5 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1.5 cups apple cider
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Split Squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Melt ½ of the butter and use it to rub down the inside of the squash, then season with salt, pepper, cinnamon. Place squash skin side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and roast in oven for about 30-40 minutes. When squash is finished roasting, set aside to cool enough to be able to handle. Scoop out the meat from the skin or simply try to peel the skin off the meat. Discard skin and reserve squash.

Melt remaining butter in a small stock pot. Peel the onion and cut in ½ then slice into ¼ slices, add to pot and start to soften. Peel, core and slice the apple and add to the stock pot once the onions have started to soften. Season lightly with salt and pepper, cook over medium heat until soft, then add the squash.

Next add stock, water and cider. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then puree the soup, an immersion blender is recommended.

Serve with shredded sharp cheddar as a great flavor pairing and some croutons for texture.

Get the second recipe in our holiday recipe series, and enjoy a roasted prime rib at home.

Looking for a fun breakfast idea your family will love?

Check out this blog post to get Chef Dandro’s favorite scone recipe.