Recipe by Austin Vegas
This is my adaptation of several squash recipes I've seen. This is a great recipe for a first course of dinner, lunch or snack. It can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time (bring to work!). Reheat refrigerated soup before adding garnish. For vegan option, use Vegetable stock rather than chicken stock, substitute olive oil for the butter and omit the cream. Make sure to use a vegan wine as well.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 1⁄2 lbs butternut squash, seeded, peeled and large 1 in. dice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste preference
- 1 teaspoon white pepper, plus additional to taste preference
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup celery, diced (~2-3 sprigs)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 leeks, cleaned and diced
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs (1 Tsp dried thyme used as alternative)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
- 5 cups chicken stock (home made preferable)
- 1⁄2 cup sherry wine (dry white wine used as alternative)
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped (*OPTIONAL)
- 3 tablespoons chives, chopped (*OPTIONAL)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep the butternut squash and toss with olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
- Evenly coat and spread out on a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish or sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. While squash is roasting, prep the remainder of this recipe. When roasted, set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, pot or dutch oven heat the butter on low heat. Add thyme, leeks, celery and onions, stirring occasionally until cooked soft and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs (if using).
- Stir in squash, garlic, apples, ginger, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes.
- Using a stick blender (or in blender by batch), puree the mixture until smooth. When using a blender or food processor for hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, crack one corner of the lid open. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
- Return soup to pot with low heat and mix in sherry/wine, cream, additional salt and pepper to taste. Heat until simmer.
- Ladle hot soup into bowls for serving. Garnish with chopped walnuts, chives or a fresh grated nutmeg.