A warm winter recipe for the colder nights.
This is definitely the easiest and best way to make rich-tasting butternut squash soup, without having to peel and dice a large, awkwardly shaped vegetable. You start by cutting the squash in half lengthwise and roasting it in a hot oven. Scrape the roasted flesh from the skin, and simmer it with sautéed yellow onion, fresh sage and a tart Granny Smith apple. When everything’s soft and the flavors have melded, purée it all in the blender. Finally, enrich the soup with a bit of heavy cream.
- 4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- 2-1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2-1/2 cups water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
- Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion and sage, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
- Add the broth, water and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
- Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds if using.