Yes~ I am making squash again, and this time it will be soup. A great make ahead meal. Make a batch and eat a couple times during the week, add a sandwich or salad and dinner is done!
This is a great recipe that features a lot of spices that come together nicely plus the cheese and croutons are crunchy!
For the soup:
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dices
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch dices
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg ( I use only fresh nutmeg that is hand grated for the best flavor!)
- 1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- For the croutons:
- 1/2 baguette, thinly sliced
- extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 3 ounces Gruyère, grated
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the squash, carrots, butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and spread to a single layer. Roast until the squash and carrots are tender, about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice. Set aside.
In a Dutch oven over medium, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add in the roasted vegetables and purée the soup in batches in a blender (or do like I do and use an immersion blender). Add in the half and half and maple syrup; simmer over medium-low until soup begins to thicken. Taste for salt and pepper.
To make the croutons, preheat the broiler setting. Place the baguette slices on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle each piece with some olive oil and broil until slightly golden. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle over a little cheese on each slice. Return to the oven and broil until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately with the soup.
**When reheating soup, do not boil. Just simmer gently until warm. Add a bit of cream on the top, run a skewer through and make some fun designs.