Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is always a sign that fall is officially here, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is roasted and pureed into a creamy soup.  Roasting the squash really brings out the sweetness and gives it a much richer flavor.  The potatoes and carrots add some extra body to the soup, and a little condensed apple cider brings in some additional flavor and sweetness.  I also added a bottle of beer  The soup is rounded out with a spoonful of sour cream.  This goes great with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and would also be delicious with some crumbled bacon on top. 
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved vertically
  • 2 potatoes, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 carrots, cut to same size as potatoes
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 apples, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons peeled minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle of beer (lager or octoberfest)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and place the squash, open-side up on the tray.  Scoop out the seeds if you haven't done so already.  Brush or drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  
When the oven is heated, roast the squash for about 40-50 minutes or until you can easily pierce through it with a fork. Remove and let cool until it is no longer too hot to handle.
While the squash is roasting, start to prepare the other vegetables.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot.  Add the potato, carrot, onion, and celery.  Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic, ginger, and apple and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Pour in the beer and cook until liquid is reduced by half, then add the chicken broth and cider.
When you can handle the squash, slice the meat into cubes without piercing through the skin, and then scoop out the flesh and add to the pot. 
 Stir to incorporate the squash, and then add the nutmeg.  Taste for salt and pepper.
Simmer the soup, covered, until the vegetables are tender.  In two or three batches, puree the soup in your blender until smooth.  

Return to the pot and keep hot until ready to serve.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

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