The aroma of soup simmering in the kitchen on a crisp autumn day reminds us of days gone by. This is a sublime soup to make on a Sunday or to have for the week. Pair it with my Seeded Fennel Bread, toasted. Can easily be made vegan
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 6 3 pounds butternut squash, or 15 oz canned pumpkin 2 tbsp. canola oil 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 2 sprigs thyme tucked into squash when roasting 1 cup thinly sliced leeks 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions 6 garlic cloves, smashed 2 tbsp. honey 6 cups vegetable stock, or Pacific organic vegetable stock Bouquet Garni made of 8 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs Italian parsley, tied together
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns, wrapped in a packet made of 2 green leek leaves
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, or vegan butter 1/4 cup cream fraiche, or whipped coconut cream 1/8 tsp.freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 granny smith apple, cut into small cubes
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. Squash can be roasted a day ahead.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the neck of the squash and set it aside. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out and discard seeds. Brush each half inside with about 1 tsp. of the canola oil. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of thyme into each. Place cut-side-down on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove and let cool, then scoop out and reserve the flesh. If using canned pumpkin, add to pot instead of diced squash. Continue to simmer for the 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
2.Using a paring knife, peel away the skin from the neck of the squash until you reach the orange flesh. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces (you should have 3 cups.
3. Put the remaining canola oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots, and onions and cook, stirring often, for 6minutes. Add the diced squash, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp.salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the honey and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add the roasted squash and simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and puree. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Stores up to 5 days.
5. Place the creme fraiche in a bowl and stir in nutmeg to taste Cover and refrigerate.
6. Gently reheat the soup until just hot. If it is too thick, add more stock, or water. Heat a skillet over high heat. When it is hot, add the butter and rotate the skillet over the heat as necessary to brown the butter evenly. As soon as the butter is a hazelnut brown, pour it into the pot of soup, and stir.
7. To Finish, ladle the soup into six serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of cream fraiche, or coconut cream, cubes of granny smith apple, and toasted walnuts.