I am overwhelmed with the beauty of fall. Living in Wisconsin has its pros and cons, I mean I don’t think most people enjoy freezing cold below zero no sun winter days, but fall that is different. It is beautiful! Leaf colors in orange, red, purple…fresh crisp air, apples, pumpkin everything…
Not to mention an abundance of squash. My favorite squash, aside from pumpkin of course is the beautiful butternut squash. On its own it doesn’t need any additional sweetener as long as you respect it. By this I mean roasting. Not steaming or boiling but roasting. This brings out the natural sugars and allows them to concentrate and caramelize. (please forgive my not so perfect picture)
So that is what I did for this velvety soup. It is super quick to put together, that is your active time making it. First cut your squash in half carefully, please don’t sacrifice a finger here. Scrape the seeds out and discard. (Or save them to roast and decorate your soup if you wish). Place squash halves cut side down on cookie sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for about an hour, I put parchment on my pan to save clean up time later. Meanwhile cut the end off a head of garlic. Put the cut side down in a ramekin or small oven safe bowl and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. When you are 20 minutes from the end of roasting your squash add your ramekin covered with foil to the oven. Your squash and garlic are done when they are golden brown. (I flipped my garlic over for a visual, roast cut side down.)
Remove squash and allow to cool before scraping the sweet flesh from the skin. Squeeze the garlic from the skins into your blender and purée with squash and 2-3 cups of chicken stock (to make it vegetarian/vegan use vegetable stock). I used my homemade stock this time but any stock will work. Purée until smooth. Empty blender into large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Now is the time to adjust your seasoning. Add 1 tablespoon dried sage, 2 teaspoons of dried thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Now swirl in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to mellow out the sweetness of the squash and roasted garlic, feel free to add more if yours tastes extra sweet. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
When you are ready to serve top each bowl with a good shake of pumpkin pie spice and a small pinch of cayenne. Add a crispy baguette, serve with a fresh salad and your meal is complete!
As a side note, I topped mine with Chèvre (creamy goat cheese), super yummy! This would also be great with any sage seasoned sausage…
- One butternut squash
- 2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 head garlic
- 1 Tablespoon sage
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pumpkin pie spice
- cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (roast if you have that option)
- Slice squash in half end to end
- scoop out seeds and discard
- place cut side down on baking sheet
- Roast in 400 degree oven for approximately 1 hour until golden brown
- Cut top off of garlic head and place cut side down in small oven safe bowl/ramekin
- Top with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt
- When there are 20 minutes left in the roasting process add garlic covered to oven
- Remove garlic and squash from oven and allow to cool enough to handle
- Once cooled squeeze garlic from skins into blender and add the garlic oil
- Scrape insides from squash and add to blender
- Add 2-3 cups chicken stock to blender to desired consistency.
- Blend until smooth
- Add soup to large saucepan
- Stir in sage and thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix in apple cider vinegar
- Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes for all flavors to blend.
- Serve in cups or bowls and top with a good shake of pumpkin pie spice and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.