November 3, 2009

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Fall brings an abundance of vegetables...especially squash, which you can find in all shapes and sizes. Now is the perfect time to try out all those squash recipes that will add warmth to your tummy and take the chill out of those autumn nights.
There are so many variations to make this soup to your liking. Thai with a bit of coconut milk and ginger and Southwestern with some chipotle chiles, cumin and lime juice are just two delicious ways for something different.
Roasting the vegetables brings out more depth in the flavor as well as richness to the soup.
A seriously easy soup to add to your fall repetoire.

Wine Pairing: A very dry Riesling or a Pinot Gris would be a nice match. For something different, try serving a Spanish Sherry with this.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6

1 medium butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 large sweet onion cubed
3 apples peeled and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper to season squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot peeled and chopped
1 medium shallot chopped
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp grated ginger
5 cups of low sodium chicken broth (veggie broth can be used for a vegetarian version)
1/2 cup of sherry
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Fresh thyme leaves to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degress. In a large bowl, toss squash, apples and onion together with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper making sure that everything is coated. Spread the veggie mixture out on a cookie sheet in one single layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are golden brown and softened, about 45-50 minutes. (I did this step the night before. Once veggies were cool, I tossed them into the fridge overnight).
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the carrots and shallots. Saute until soft and shallots are translucent. Increase the heat to high and add the roasted squash, apples and onions, with the broth, thyme, coriander and ginger. After this mixture comes up to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes until the squash breaks apart.
Working in batches, puree squash mixture in blender or food processor. Transfer pureed soup to a large saucepan and stir in the nutmeg and sherry. Bring soup to a simmer over medium-low heat, adding 1/4 cup of water at a time to adjust consistency. Now it's time to enjoy!

Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
Here are some other garnish ideas...
Dollop with sour cream or creme fraiche
Homemade coutons
Roasted pumpkins seeds or butternut squach seeds
Even plain popcorn would be a fun garnish for the kiddies.