When I think of fall cooking, I think of pumpkins and apples and butternut squash! In the past few weeks, I’ve given you a pumpkin and an apple recipe, so I owe you a butternut squash one.
This recipe is particularly easy and especially delicious. It’s for Roasted Butternut Squash soup! It’s also hearty and perfect for the crisp weather. It can be eaten alone — a meal in and of itself — or you can enjoy it alongside a sandwich or a salad. Actually, it’s a perfect starter for your Thanksgiving dinner!
It requires only a handful of ingredients which you likely have on hand — with the exception of the fresh sage . . . And, the fresh sage is really what sets it apart.
I think sage is particularly comforting. Or maybe it’s just that the smell reminds me of the holidays, specifically Thanksgiving. In fact, sage makes an appearance in many traditional Thanksgiving dishes — from the seasoning on the turkey to the gravy to the stuffing (or dressing, depending on where you are from!). In the instance of this soup, the sage really complements the roasted, caramelized squash. It also tastes great infused in some croutons.
Speaking of croutons . . . this soups begs for a few. So, I included a recipe for those too!
Roasted Butternut Squash SoupYields 6 cups, enough for a family of four
1, 3lb butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes5 tablespoons olive oil1 onion, chopped2 stalks of celery, chopped8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped (approximately 1 tablespoon)6 cups of chicken stock (or non-tomato based vegetable stock)salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the meantime, arrange the butternut squash cubes on a large baking sheet, drizzle with approximately 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until caramelized, approximately 20-30 minutes. Please keep in mind that the squash will not be fork tender when you remove it from the oven.
In a large pot over medium to low heat, add the remaining olive oil. Once the oil comes to temperature, add the chopped onion and celery and cook until translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes. Then add the chopped sage, salt and pepper to taste. Let the sage cook with the onions and celery for a few minutes so it infuses the vegetables. Then, add the roasted butternut squash and the chicken stock. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the vegetables simmer on low until everything is fork tender, approximately 20 minutes. Then, in two batches, add the soup mixture to the base of a blender and blend until smooth. Serve hot or refrigerate for a later date. Croutons make an excellent accompaniment. See the recipe below!
Homemade Sage Croutons
2-3 cups of day old bread (I used leftover ciabatta bread)2-3 tablespoons of olive oilsalt and pepper to taste4-5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add bread, olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh sage to a baking sheet. Toss the bread so that it’s lightly coated with olive oil. Toast in the oven until the bread browns lightly, approximately 10 minutes.
Helpful Hint: If your soup is too thick, add a little extra stock to thin it out. This may happen if you boil the soup longer than you should and too much of the stock evaporates. It’s an easy fix provided you have some extra stock on hand — and worse case, you can always add some water.