Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Better Butternut Squash Soup

by Lauren Rauh

I can never ever get enough butternut squash, but sometimes I do find myself tiring of the same old butternut squash soup. This one is a little different and will keep you cozy and warm through out the cold weather months. The addition of apple compliments and heightens the sweetness of the squash and the celery root brings it back down to earth.

I roasted the squash whole as well as the diced apple and celery root. Though this creates an extra step in the production of this soup, roasting the ingredients first creates such a wonderful, comforting flavor. Another bonus is that you don’t need to peel the butternut, which is perhaps one of the most annoying prep tasks. Though the soup stands well alone, I gave some garnishing ideas at the end of the recipe. Also, this recipe makes a ton of soup, so feed a crowd or freeze some for an easy weekday meal.

(serves 10-12)
The goods:

3 lbs. butternut squash
2 apples, diced
1 medium size celery root, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced
1.5 Tablespoons cumin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the butternut and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves face down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.

While the squash is roasting, dice the apples and celery root and toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake the apples and roots until they are tender.

In a Dutch oven or, medium saucepot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Sweat the leek and garlic for about five minutes. Add cumin and sweat for a few more minutes, until the leeks are soft and fragrant.

When the roasted squash has cooled scoop the flesh out of the skin and stir it into the Dutch oven. Add the celery root and apple, cover the contents with water (or a mild stock) and bring the pot to a boil. Simmer the ingredients for about 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

When the soup is seasoned and simmered to your liking, use and immersion blender to blend the ingredients to a puree (or process in batches in a blender).

It's delicious thick, but if you prefer it thinner simply add more stock or water.

Serve with…

A dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream
Basil/cilantro pesto
Squash/pumpkin seed pesto
Grated Parmesan
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