Roast Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks, about 4 cups total
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Several sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 leek, split lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed free of grit
- 4 cups chicken stock, homemade best, plus more for thinning
- 1 cup largish bread crumbs from stale loaf
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Heat oven to 425. Combine squash and apples in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Transfer to a large sheet pan, spreading out squash and apples to form a more or less single layer. Place in oven and roast until squash is very tender and starting to turn golden brown, about 40 minutes. Apples should go soft too. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add roasted squash and apples to the pot. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and puree using either an emersion blender (if you don't have one buy one NOW as this will change your life) or a food processor (keep in mind that hot liquids expand, work in small batches, hold down lid etc). Return soup to pot (skip step if you used emersion blender - yet another reason to buy) and adjust soup consistency with more stock if needed. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Heat remaining two tablespoons butter in a small skillet. Add bread crumbs and fry until golden. Stir in chopped parsley and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Spoon croutons onto soup just before serving.