If you didn’t know fall was here by chilly evenings then you certainly would know by the markets being filled with fabulous, and sometime freakish, squash. There are few things as warming and comforting as this creamy squash soup. There is a little heat from the cayenne and red pepper flakes, and the sweet potato gives it body. Roasting the squash, onion, apple, and potato first, maximizes the sweetness of the vegetables. You can use real cream, fat-free cream, or a non-dairy cream to make this vegan.
4 to 6 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large, sweet onion, sliced
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
Place all in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in 350′ oven about 45 minutes or until soft. While the squash roasts – prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup peeled and finely diced carrot
1 large leek, washed, chopped – not the tough green part
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 – 2 cartons, 32 ounces vegetable broth
2 cups half and half, I used “fat free”
Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot. Sauté the leeks, carrot and celery, until soft. Add the roasted squash and other vegetables to the pot. Turn heat to low, place lid on pot and “sweat” the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and seasonings and 1 carton of the vegetable broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer about an hour.
Puree the soup, either with an immersion blender, or puree in batches in a regular blender. Adjust the thickness of the soup by adding additional vegetable broth if needed. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Add the cream, warm on very low heat.
For the crouton
I found some fabulous Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago cheese made by Sartori. The flavors blend so well with this soup, I decided to make a little crouton for a garnish.
Toast a slice of baguette for each serving of soup. Top with a few thin slices of Asiago cheese. Place the crouton on the soup and garnish with dried rosemary.