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Butternut Squash with Toasted Sage Soup

Squash soups are the perfect meal to keep you warm this fall. It’s a lovely soup to make ahead and keep in the freezer for those cold winter nights or when garnished beautifully, it can be served at your next dinner party. I make a dozen variations, but this classic is one of my favorites and it’s perfect for entertaining. I love its velvety texture and the toasted sage in brown butter is what makes this dish stand out.


squash-photo

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour & 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash, Halved Lengthwise and Seeds Removed
  • 1 Leek, White and Tender Green Parts, Finely Diced
  • 1 Grannysmith Apple, Peeled, Cored and Diced Into ½ inch Cubes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Diced
  • 8 Sage Leaves
  • 2 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt to Taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place halved squash on a cookie sheet, skin side up. Brush the squash lightly with olive oil, season with salt. Roast for 40 minutes or until squash is tender. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. When cool, remove squash from skin using an ice cream scoop.
  3. While squash is roasting, heat remaining oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks and apple to pot. Sauté for two minutes, then turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add garlic and two sage leaves, sauté for two minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add squash, stock, water and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to boil and turn down the heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. While soup is cooking, heat a medium sized pan over moderate heat. Melt butter and toast individual sage leaves until crispy.
  7. Set on paper towel.
  8. Using an emersion blender or food processor, blend soup until smooth.
  9. Season with salt & pepper
  10. Portion soup into bowls, top each bowl with two sage leaves and a drizzle of your best olive oil.

Tips:

  1. I like to cut my squash in half and roast it in the oven versus dicing and sautéing. I find this method more efficient as the skin can be tough to peel. Roasting the squash will also give it a nice nutty flavor. Don’t be shy about letting the squash caramelize and get some color; this gives the soup a richer flavor.
  2. Leeks grow in sand and must be properly cleaned. To clean, place diced leeks in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes until the sand sinks to the bottom. Remove leeks from bowl using a slotted spoon or spider. Repeat if necessary until clean. A spider is a wire mesh tool that looks similar to a small strainer you would use to drain pasta; however, it is shallower and has a longer handle. You can easily purchase a spider on Amazon here, or through a variety of online retailers.

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