Friday, December 23, 2016

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Soups are a big cold weather favorite over here, and from what I can gather, most everywhere once the season turns brisk. A slab of buttered bread and a steaming bowl of vegetable studded broth, slow braised beef and root vegetables, or a silky puree of roasted winter squashes sees us all the way into spring. Soup also defies the grab-and-go tendency, requiring a table, chair and most often a spoon. This may by why soup is so easy to love. Preparation can be simple to involved, but eating soup always helps us take a quiet moment out of our day, it taps us on the shoulder and invites us to come sit.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup:
*1 large butternut squash
*4 apples, peeled, quartered, seeds removed
*1 large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
*4 celery stalks
*2 carrots, tops removed
*4 garlic cloves, peeled
*4 Tablespoons olive oil
*about 5-6 cups bone broth, organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
*4 Tablespoons butter 
*sea salt
*black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Split butternut lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Quarter and remove outer skin with a knife. Chop into 2 inch cubes and place on baking sheet with the apples, onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and season everything with sea salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat in the oil. Bake until all items are tender and fragrant, about 30 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer items to a large soup pot and cover with broth adding enough to submerge all the vegetables. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender or (cool slightly) then working in batches, puree in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Return to soup pot over low heat and add the butter and additional seasonings to taste. Cream can also be added to taste. 

Portion into bowls. Garnish with plain whole yogurt or sour cream and chives. 

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