Fall is my favorite time of year. Cool temperatures make for the perfect climate to make soup. Who ever said preparing soup has to be complicated and time consuming hasn’t cooked with me. First of all, I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen. Honestly, I wish I did have the time because the opportunity to invent recipes for fun is just my ideal way of relaxing. But, I digress because that is not my world.
Having gone to the market, the fall vegetables were calling my name. So, I bought a large butternut squash. The ability to use fresh ingredients whenever possible is always a plus. Just a side note that my next chunk of free time, I am going to make quarts of vegetable stock that I can freeze for just occasions like this. I will share my recipe once I perfect it. In this case, I am using prepared vegetable stock that is low sodium for my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. My biggest takeaway is that I wish I had made a larger quantity!
This recipe is super easy as you will see. There are very few ingredients because when you roast the squash versus saute or boil it, the sweetness of the squash comes out. All that dark coloring is squash sugar! That is the gold part of this dish! Here’s a big tip for you when it comes to slicing or cutting butternut squash. As some of you know, I work in the housewares world selling high end kitchen knives for a specific brand. I get asked this all the time so am volunteering it for you here. The best way to cut this squash with its tough shell is to use a carrot peeler first to remove the exterior. Once that is gone, then use your sharp knife to cute the squash into the sizes you want. It makes it effortless and so much less dangerous than worrying the knife will slip off the squash shell!
The other good news with this recipe is you need very few pieces of equipment to make it. That means less to wash! I have many of these jelly roll or baking sheets that I use for everything from roasting vegetables to baking cookies to catching the overflow of juicy fruit pies or casseroles. Of course, my handy carrot peeler to remove the shell. 3 for $10! No argument here. Having worked for All-Clad years ago, I am still a big fan in how beautifully and evenly this cookware cooks. It may be expensive but it will last you forever. And of course, THE blender to have: Vitamix 750. It has all these pre-sets that make it so easy. There is even a soup one that you can use for this recipe. It will blend it to the right consistency with no effort on your part.
If you decide to make this recipe (which I hope you do!), there are so many ways to doctor it up with herbs and cream let alone toppings. I made it without feeling the need to add ingredients since it turned out so delicious to me. But, personalize it as you see fit. It’s also a great soup for your vegetarian friends as it can be a side dish or main course. Hope you enjoy it!
- 1 3 - 4 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes
- 3 shallots, diced
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, separated
- 1 granny smith apple, small, peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes
- 3 - 4 cups of vegetable stock, low sodium
- salt and pepper
- Maple syrup, brown sugar - optional
- Walnuts, 1/4 cup toasted, chopped - optional
- 3/4 cup croutons - optional
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss cubed butternut squash in one tablespoon olive oil or enough to lightly coat the squash.
- Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and fresh pepper to taste.
- Put in single layer on jelly roll pan or baking sheet.
- Roast for 45 - 60 minutes depending on size of pieces till the edges get dark, moving the cubes at about 30 minutes to get even roasting.
- Remove from oven.
- Heat saute pan on cooktop till olive oil is shimmery about a minute. Then, add shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes till translucent. Add garlic and saute just until cooked - about 30 seconds.
- In Vitamix (or any blender), add the roasted squash, shallots and garlic, cubed apple and 2 cups of stock. Blend slowly adding stock till it gets to desired thickness. You may not need all 4 cups.
- Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste.
- Top with toasted herbs, walnuts or croutons.
- While it is possible to avoid the step of cubing the squash and just roasting in its own shell, I like how sweet all sides of the squash gets when browned in the oven. So, the extra few minutes to cut into cubes is totally worth it to me.
- Possible herbs to use: sage, oregano
- Sweetness addition: 1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup added to blender