Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Although the air is still warm, there is a new scent lingering beneath the familiar one of late summer. There is a lightness to it, this new scent, although it is also ancient and familiar; the headiness of summer blooms radiating rich floral tones in the hottest of days fade back into a coolness lurking just behind each new morning.  The garden, though bounteous, yields a damp aroma of earthiness and brown, if brown has a smell, signaling the plants have nearly finished fulfilling their duties for the season.  The last few tomatoes are turning pink; a couple of cucumbers and summer squash still cling to their vines waiting to be plucked out and made good use of in the kitchen.  A tree or two shows off early color, and the days have quickly grown shorter.

The sun shines, but not with the strength it had in July and August.  Each morning run yields a little less sweat; the miles slip by effortlessly as the early damp coolness brushes my skin.  The ocean is at long last warm, but the beach-goers have all gone home.   A few of us summer stragglers try to catch these last few days if we can, to ride the waves without our wetsuits and loll on our picnic blankets until the time comes to pick up the kids from school.

Even though I love the food summer supplies—- the basil, tomatoes, peaches, watermelon, peppery, leafy greens ready to be cut fresh each evening for salad suppers— I also love the fruits and vegetables that are finally ready in the fall.  Apples, kale, chard, and winter squash smell rich and sweet as they roast in the oven or simmer on the stove.  Today I purchased the first butternut squash of this year’s harvest, and tomorrow, as the day is expected to be cool, will make this delicious soup.  It’s rich and complex in flavor, but easy to make.  It also freezes well.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to double the recipe and put some aside for a lazy winter evening.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash, washed and halved length-wise, seeds scooped out.

2 Tbsp. olive oil (I use extra-virgin Greek)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 sweet onion, cut into small dice

2 firm fresh apples, peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely

1 Tbsp. turmeric

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

3 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, chopped fine

4 cups vegetable stock

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, grated or microplaned

1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

1 cup fresh orange juice

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 ° F.  Oil a cookie sheet or line it with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place squash cut-side down and roast on the center rack of the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until flesh can be easily pierced with a fork.  Remove squash from the oven and set it aside to cool.

While squash is roasting, saute the onions and garlic in a large stock pot over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Add the apples, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and sage.  Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, or until spices are fragrant.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to simmer and cook until apples are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from its skin and add it to the stock pot with the rest of the soup. Stir in orange juice, ginger and nutmeg.  Puree until smooth with an immersion blender, or allow soup to cool a bit and puree in blender or food processor in small batches.

Serve with warm whole grain bread.

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2 Comments on “Roasted Butternut Squash Soup”

  1. lise Says:

    Yum! and your cream of broc soup is still 1 of Rach n my favorites…mom likes it 2.


  2. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


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