This is one of our favorite winter recipes and an awesome soup that can be served as a starter, or as an entire meal topped with a bunch of extras like the toasted seeds from the squash itself, crispy bacon bits, croutons, goat cheese, dried cranberries, a little orange zest…or whatever you think works. Roasting the squash adds an extra nutty flavor and richness to the finished soup and we always make up a big batch and freeze the leftovers.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (makes about 12 servings)
- 2 large butternut squash – halved with seeds scooped out and reserved for roasting*
- 1/4 stick of butter – to saute vegetables
- 1 large onion – finely chopped
- 3 carrots – peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced
- 1 oz. fresh ginger – peeled and minced
- 2 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 orange – zested and juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper – more if you like it spicy
- Ground nutmeg – optional
- 2 – 32 oz. boxes or cans of chicken stock – use homemade if you have it
- 3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- Salt and ground pepper
- Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and guts with a spoon. Be very careful when halving the squash…be sure you use a long, sharp, and sturdy knife and cut on a stable cutting board. Reserve seeds for roasting.
- In a preheated 375 degree oven, roast squash skin-side-down for 25 minutes until they become soft to the touch.
- While squash is cooling, heat large stock pot or dutch oven medium-high heat and saute chopped onion, carrot, garlic, ginger, apple in melted butter. Saute until onions begin to soften but be careful not to brown….about 10 minutes, stiffing frequently
- Scoop out butternut squash meat from skin and combine with vegetable mix. Add cayenne pepper, nutmeg, orange zest and juice, salt and pepper and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Use a handheld immersion blender or standard blender to puree until smooth. If using a standard blender, puree in 2-3 batches and be sure to allow heat to escape to prevent splattering. Cover top hole with a dishcloth. Return to low heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to meld fully.
- Turn off heat and stir in cream to finish. Re-season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve in a large soup bowl topped with your extras…. we like roasted squash seeds, crispy bacon bits and croutons for crunch, goat cheese, a squeeze of fresh orange juice and dried cranberries for tang, plus a drizzle of olive oil, chopped parsley, and a dusting of cayenne for an extra kick.
Toasted Squash Seeds: These are even better than pumpkin seeds and a perfect crunchy topping for this soup. Scoop seeds from the squash and remove all the stringy pieces that may be attached….they come out surprisingly clean. Line a baking sheet with foil and roast seeds in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes until slightly browned and crispy. Season with salt and sprinkle on soup or eat as a great crispy snack.