Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

During the Autumn months, I turn to soup as one of my favorite dishes. It’s warm, comforting, and the perfect comfort food as the days begin to get shorter and the nights much colder. I’ve made butternut squash soup without roasting it AND without adding the sweet component of maple syrup and I often find the soup falls short in flavor. By roasting the squash and adding maple syrup, it creates a well rounded soup that will satisfy you and your guests!

Serves:  4 +/- –  Cooktime: 1-1/2 hours +/-

INGREDIENTS:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH:

  • 1 Butternut Squash (about 3-4 lbs)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Drizzled & Brushed Over Squash
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, Drizzled & Brushed Over Squash
  • 1/8 Cup Brown Sugar, Rubbed Over Surface of Squash
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt

SOUP:

  • 1 Shallot, Sliced Thin
  • 1/8 Cup Red Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth (SUBSTITION: use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian!)
  • GARNISH: Cinnamon & Sprig of Parsley

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice both ends off the squash and cut in half, making sure to remove all seeds. Place cut side up on foil and drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup. Rub brown sugar over the two halves. Season with salt and pepper. Once preheated, place baking sheet in oven and cook for 50 minutes, or until squash is tender and soft.

2.) While squash is cooking, prep for the soup. Smash and mince garlic cloves. Thinly slice shallots, and dice red peppers. Set aside.

3.) Once the squash has only 5 minutes left, begin preparing the soup. (IF YOU’D LIKE: you can always cook the squash ahead of time, peel off the skin and place in a covered bowl in the fridge. Once you’re ready to begin the soup, take out the squash and proceed with directions).

4.) Place a 6-quart pot, or similar, on medium heat. Add olive oil and let come to temperature. Once heated, add shallots and red pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until translucent and wilted. Add butter and minced garlic and cook for an additional 90 seconds, stirring frequently to prevent garlic from burning.

5.) Add squash to pot, stirring and breaking up any large pieces. If squash is cold, let warm up in pot for 3 minutes or so, stirring frequently. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Cook for 5-7 minutes to fully incorporate and meld flavors together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6.) Turn down heat to medium low and add broth and heavy cream. Stir, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and blend with immersion blender (or regular blender) for 30 seconds or so, until ingredients are fully blended. If you’re using a blender, you’ll likely have to split soup in half and blend in portions to ensure soup is fully blended.

7.) Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprig of parsley. Serve alongside crusty bread and enjoy!

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