As this winter lengthens and the snow keeps piling on our deck and yard I turn to soups to provide comfort and warmth. In the last month I have made this soup for our family, for a soup exchange party put together by my creative friend, Fran, as well as our family’s annual Super Bowl party. It is always well received and heartily enjoyed. Hope you like it as well!
Italian Style Butternut squash and Sage Soup
3 pounds butternut squash - peeled, seeded & chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large sweet onion -- sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups chicken broth -- (or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon thyme -- minced
1/2 cup cream
1 small French bread -- cut 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Italian parsley -- minced
2 tablespoons thyme -- minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 400F. In a large rimmed baking sheet combine squash, sage, garlic, onion and olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until vegetables are caramelized and golden brown (about 45 minutes).
Place all vegetables, including scrapings from the pan, into a soup pot. Add the chicken broth and the thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let soup cool a little.
While soup is simmering, heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan and sauté shallots with the minced thyme. Season them with salt and pepper.
In batches, puree soup in blender and place in pot. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
While soup is simmering make the croutons: On a rimmed baking sheet combine bread, olive oil, parsley, thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Place in a 375F oven and toast until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Take the croutons out of oven and let them cool.
To serve: Ladle soup into a bowl drizzle with a little cream and top with the croutons. Serve hot.
Note: If you like soup thicker, add less broth, or instead - even add some apple sauce.