What a great time of year for a fall flavored, hot, filling soup! This would be great as a first course of an autumn dinner party, but is hearty enough to be a meal in itself.
2 pounds of butternut squash or 2 whole squash, chopped
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely OR 1 tablespoon of dried sage
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg (you can use ground here, but I highly recommend grating your own)
1 tablespoon (or 2) of pure maple syrup
14 oz. (or more) of warmed chicken stock (I use low sodium here. You can always add salt, but you can't take it out.)
1/4 cup of heavy cream/coconut milk/almond milk (My preference for this is the heavy cream and although I would not recommend it, you can leave this out, but would need to supplement with more stock or water)
salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 375*. Then, chop your butternut so all the pieces are similar sized and place into a large bowl. Trader Joe's makes the prep work a snap if you choose. They sell already peeled and chopped butternut because they can be quite a bitch to do. Please tell me someone uses the words 'quite' and 'bitch' in the same sentence. I thought so. I digress....
Chop your sage leaves, add those to the bowl, then drizzle with the maple syrup and olive oil. Next, season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
Mix everything together so all the butternut is nice and coated... pour onto a Silpat or parchment lined sheet pan. Make sure to scrape out all those tasty little bits at the bottom of the bowl!
Roast the squash for 35-40 minutes. It should be fork tender and have wonderful little spots of caramelization going on.
Let it cool slightly (5 minutes or so) and then transfer it to your blender. If your blender isn't large enough, please do this in batches, otherwise it could get ugly. My Vitamix has a 64 oz. capacity so I was good to go. Next pour in your chicken stock and heavy cream or whatever you should choose. Blend until there are no more remaining chunks. You may need more liquid depending on the consistency of your squash. Add liquid as you see fit.
Now it's ready for service! I was once told, garnishes on dishes should always reflect an ingredient that was used in the dish, hence my baby sage leaf. This soup was so velvety and thick. The hint of maple syrup is so necessary. This made 4 quite large dinner servings, but could be made into more as a first course.
What is your favorite fall meal?