ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
2 (4-5 pounds) large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (you may want to use more, depending on how thick you like the soup)
¼ cup organic maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper (I use a couple of dashes but I suggest you do one, taste and then another if you want more heat)
½ cup heavy cream (more if you like, and I always like!)
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Peel the butternut squash. Remove the seeds. Dice into large cubes. Drizzle the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with a salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan or roasting pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Check the squash after 12 minutes and turn with a spatula.
NOTE: You can roast the squash in the skin and scoop it out after you cook it. Either way works. With a heavy duty vegetable peeler, I find peeling it first is easier.)
While the squash is roasting, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. Over medium-high heat, cook the onion until softened but not browned.
Add the cooked squash to the onion. Use a potato masher, a spoon or a spatula to break up the squash. Stir in the first 4 cups of chicken broth a little at a time. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, adding more chicken broth as necessary to keep the soup from becoming too thick. Add the maple syrup, salt and both peppers. Whisk in the cream. If you like your soup with texture, stop here. I like this soup very smooth so I use an immersion blender to make it smooth and velvety. When you get it to the consistency you like, add the heavy cream. Just before serving, stir in a tablespoon of butter and the finely chopped parsley. Check the seasoning. You may need to add a bit more salt. (you can also add the parsley before you use your immersion blender if you have people who don't like anything green in their food)
Depending on portion size, this serves about 8
I spoon this soup into quart-sized Mason jars once done; it, keeps in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. Sometimes I make a big batch and deliver it to friends around the holidays. It is always appreciated!