I’m talking, ‘If I gave you a gently worn Armani suit in exchange for a dinner out, then all I ordered was this soup because I was still full from the hot dog I ate earlier in the day, I’d consider our deal square’ kind of good soup. No additional meal required.
Aaaaand, there’s my Seinfeld reference for the day.
Seriously though, it’s pretty fantastic. Roasting the butternut squash with ginger, sage, garlic (and a tiny bit of brown sugar and butter) makes for an intense base flavor. And, because it softens while roasting, you don’t have to go through the hassle of peeling and cubing hard, raw squash then boiling it down before you even get started.
Combine that with tart granny smith apple, onion and a splash of cream, then top it all off with roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and dried cranberries?
Um, sure. I’ll have it. All of it.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Ginger and Apple Soup
(makes 4 – 6 servings)
1 large butternut squash (2 – 3 lbs)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
4 fresh sage leaves
1 yellow onion (diced)
1 granny smith apple (peeled, cored and diced)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup cream
Pepitas & dried cranberries (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then scoop the seeds out and set the squash on the prepared pan, skin side down. Divide 3 tbsp of the melted butter, pouring evenly into the cavities of each half of squash. Add the brown sugar, along with the grated ginger, the garlic, the sage leaves, and a sprinkle of salt.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, combine the remaining 1 tbsp melted butter with the diced onion and apple. Cook over medium heat until they soften, then add in the roasted squash and vegetable stock. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the squash breaks down more (5 – 10 minutes.)
Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and puree until silky smooth. (Very carefully. Hot liquids will blow UP in a blender if you don’t let a little air in, so be sure to leave the ventilation cap off and cover with a dish towel when blending.) Once it’s all blended, pour the soup back into the pot, add the water and simmer for 5 – 10 additional minutes then stir in the cream.
To serve, ladle into individual bowls and top with roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and dried cranberries.