Butternut Squash Soup

It’s sweata weatha, or in my case hooded sweatshirt weather, and SOUPS ON!

This is an all time fave. I like it because it’s easy enough to be made on a week night, it’s great by the fire and watching a movie on Saturday night, makes great leftovers for lunch, and in the future, I will share with all the different flavor profiles that can easily be added to this base.

Butternut Squash Soup
2 1/2 to 3 lb butternut squash
1 T cooking oil – veg, canola, sunflower, avocado
1 medium apple of your choice, peel, core and rough chop (I use whatever I have on hand which is usually honey crisp and granny smith)
1/2 medium yellow or white onion, rough chopped
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme leaves
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 c vegetable stock (You can sub water or chicken stock)
1/4 c cream

To prepare the butternut squash, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Quarter the butternut squash. (I cut it in half short ways, and cut the two halves long ways. I also cut the top off for safety, so my knife doesn’t get stuck in the stalk.) Remove the seeds, and puncture each piece thru the skin with a fork one time. Place the squash on a large baking sheet flesh side down. Fill the pour 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water into the baking sheet, bake for an hour and fifteen minutes. The squash should be fork tender. Remove from the oven and cool for thirty minutes, or until comfortable to the touch. Once cooled the skin peels away very easily. It can be peeled off with your fingers, a pairing knife, or scooped out with spoon. Set aside.

(SN – this is the longest part of the recipe, and can absolutely be done ahead of time. Once you remove from the oven, cool, peel the skin off and place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.)

Preheat a large pot over medium hight heat. Add the tablespoon of oil, apple, onion, bay leaf, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Let the onions and apple soften, sautéing for about five minutes. Add the vegetable stock, and the butternut squash puree. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for ten minutes on low heat. Remove the bay leaf.

In batches, so not to burn yourself, put the soup into a food processor. I set the food processor up and put a bowl beside it to pour the processed soup into while working in batches. Return the soup to the pot, over low heat. Just before serving add the cream and garnish (see below).

This recipe can be ahead of time, short of adding the cream. When ready to serve, reheat and add the cream.

To garnish:
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp allspice
pumpkin seeds

Using a Kitchen Aid mixer with whisk attachment, a hand held mixer, or plan old elbow grease – whisk the cream on high for several minutes until stiff peaks are formed, stir in the allspice.

Top the soup with the spiced cream and pumpkin seeds.

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