This week I picked the last few tomatoes from my small (and, by now, mostly neglected) vegetable garden. The leaves of our maple trees have started falling and the air is crisp and refreshing. There is no denying that fall is here–the season of soups, long simmering stews, and comfort food!
This delicious roasted butternut squash soup is the first soup that I have made this fall and I could not wait to share the recipe with you. Chunks of butternut squash are tossed together with tart apples and shallots in a pan and then roasted slowly in the oven. While this is one more step, roasting truly enhances the flavor profile of the vegetables and the fruit. In addition, roasting caramelizes the shallots, the butternut squash and the apples, giving them a deep, rich flavor that cannot be achieved by any other cooking method.
Once roasted, the squash mixture is puréed until smooth and then transferred to a saucepan to heat gently. The addition of a little maple syrup, a pinch of nutmeg, and a drizzle of cream round out the flavors. At this point, your kitchen will smell heavenly! Before serving, scatter a few sautéed sage leaves on top along with a sprinkle of fresh chives and pepper flakes (if you like heat). Gather everyone around the table and enjoy this bright, comforting soup that might even make you appreciate this glorious season even more.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2½ lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1½” chunks
- 4 tart, firm apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (about 1½ lbs.)
- 3 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic, whole
- 4-5 TBSP. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 4-5 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 TBSP. maple syrup
- 1 TBSP cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ½ cup half & half or heavy cream
- --- fresh sage leaves
- --- fresh chives, minced
- --- red pepper flakes
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss squash, apples, shallots, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in large bowl, then arrange in single layer in a large roasting pan. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until vegetables are golden brown and softened, about 40 minutes. Add ½ cup of the stock to the pan and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Return to oven and cook until the liquid has reduced and the vegetables are glazed, about 5 more minutes.
- Purée the squash mixture with the remaining broth in a blender until smooth. Transfer puréed squash mixture to a large saucepan and stir in the maple syrup, vinegar, nutmeg, and cream. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium-low heat, adding ¼ cup warm water at a time if necessary to adjust the thickness. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Top the soup with a few crispy, sautéed sage leaves and sprinkle with some minced fresh chives. If you like the heat, you can also add a pinch of pepper flakes. Serve the soup warm. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days.
Butternut squash chunks tossed together with tart apples, shallots and garlic in a pan
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