Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

A couple weeks ago we made the small trek over to St. Clairsville to visit my Great Uncle’s pumpkin farm. I wouldn’t just call it a pumpkin farm though. You’ll also find gourds, mums, popcorn (red ears of corn that is, to make popcorn), indoor and outdoor home decor (I sure did want to buy the cute wooden wishing well) and vegetables like, you guessed it, butternut squash. It’s been a while since I’ve been to his house. Our last visit was for a family reunion I think the year my husband and I got married; if you’re keeping track that’s officially been four years now! But this recent trip made me wonder why it’s not an annual tradition and I’m not just saying that because of the free pumpkins, gourds and squash my generous Great Uncle gave us. 🙂 I say it, because opportunities for time with family, especially those you don’t see often, should be taken when they can be. I’ve especially enjoyed the time we’ve had with Russel (I can’t keep typing great uncle!) lately. We lost my paternal Grandpa when I was little – I think around two years old – meaning I unfortunately don’t have much memory of him. So when I’m around Russel, his brother, I feel like I get a glimpse of what my Grandpa is like and I can see all the qualities I’ve heard about him in Russel as well. Kind, sweet people who do good in this world 🙂

Another reason to take advantage of these opportunities is the guaranteed stories you’ll have to tell others now and reminisce about next time. In our case, my favorite story from the day was when we all got up to go to dinner. We had been sitting on comfy patio furniture in the backyard relaxing, enjoying the unusually warm weather and having good conversation. Somehow, not one of us realized how wet the seat cushions were until we stood up to leave. Not everyone’s chair was equally wet and some of us were wearing dark colors which camouflaged the damp area, but my brother, he had on light colored shorts and possibly sat on the wettest chair of them all! And you know that just made my day! haha You can’t help but laugh in this situation. Paper towels from my parents’ car and heated seats in my car (his ride) came to the rescue and got him in pretty good shape before we got to the restaurant. I could post a photo so everyone could have a visual, but I’ll be nice. Also, the photo I have doesn’t do it justice. On to the soup? 🙂

This was my first time making butternut squash soup; I didn’t realize how many different ways this soup could be made! You can go sweet or savory with a couple combinations in each of those categories. I went with savory this time, but I’m curious about the sweeter options too so I’m going to include some notes about that in the recipe below. It kind of reminds me of sweet potatoes which work the same way – savory baked sweet potatoes or ‘sweet’ sweet potato casserole. For this version, you start with peeling and chopping all of your vegetables, tossing them in olive oil and spices and then roasting in the oven for an hour. During the roasting time, you can clean up the kitchen for minimal work after eating. That’s my favorite thing about recipes like this – remember I’m a little quirky when it comes to cleaning and organizing!

After the vegetables are nice and soft, you’ll gradually add everything to a food processor with a cup of vegetable stock to create a smooth consistency. Once you reach that consistency, you’ll add the soup to a pot on the stove with the remaining two and a half cups of vegetable stock. Stir to mix everything well and let it simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. To top it off you can garnish your soup with parsley, a sprinkle of cheese, swirl of sour cream or possibly pumpkin seeds. You’ll have to get creative with this step and report back, because I simply left ours plain! Ideas for when to make and serve this soup? great appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner and any lunch or dinner on a chilly fall day 🙂 Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Butternut Squash
  • 2 whole Carrots
  • 3 Celery stalks
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 6 Sage leaves (I had to use dried sage which worked fine – I didn’t measure, but stayed conservative)
  • 6 sprigs Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Red Pepper (less if spicy is not your preference)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock

*for a thicker/richer soup, add some cream when pureeing.

*For a nice fall flavor, try omitting the sage and add curry, nutmeg and allspice.

*A little more sweetness? instead of the above herbs and spices use maple syrup, ground nutmeg and butter. garnish with cinnamon before serving.

See what I mean when I say I came across several recipes? 🙂

Instructions:

  1. Peel and chop squash and carrots into cubes and place in roasting pan. Chop celery and onion and add to roasting pan. Peel garlic and add whole cloves to the pan.
  2. Add herbs to the vegetables, sprinkle on cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper, pour olive oil over everything and toss to mix well.
  3. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
  4. Remove from oven and remove the stems from the herbs. Discard stems and add ‘leaves’ back to the pan of vegetables. Gradually add to a food processor with one cup of vegetable stock. Puree until a smooth consistency is reached.
  5. Pour mixture into a medium sized pot on the stove and add remaining 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock. Stir well.
  6. Allow soup to simmer over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with your choice of garnish.

 

As always, thanks for reading!!

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