BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
This rich, creamy soup is the color of Fall, smells of Holidays in the kitchen, and tastes like Thanksgiving!
2 ½ lbs Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in cubes
1 large Carrot, peeled and cut into 1-in chunks
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T Unsalted Butter
1 large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
4 medium cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
4 C Chicken or Vegetable Stock, plus more as needed
2 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
Freshly ground Black Pepper Topping:
¾ C Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ C Sour Cream
Pinch Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Nutmeg OR
Mexican Crema Garnish:
20 fresh Sage Leaves
5 T Unsalted Butter OR
Fresh Chives, chopped
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss Squash and Carrot with Olive Oil and arrange on 2 rimmed baking sheets, being sure not to overcrowd the sheets. Roast until squash and carrot are very well browned on a couple sides, about 40 minutes; use a thin metal spatula to turn pieces two or three times during cooking. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, cook 2 T Butter over medium-high heat until just starting to brown. Add Onion and Garlic, lower heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly golden, about 10 minutes; lower heat as necessary to prevent burning.
Add roasted Squash and Carrot to saucepan and remove from heat. Pour ½ cup Stock into each baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits, then pour into saucepan.
Add remaining Stock, Thyme sprigs, and Bay Leaf and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes.
Remove and discard Thyme sprigs and Bay Leaf.
Using a blender or stick blender, blend soup until completely smooth. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Thin, if necessary, with additional Stock until desired consistency is reached. Keep warm. Topping: In a stand mixer, or using a handheld mixer or a whisk, beat Cream and Sour Cream with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and a pinch of Salt, until stiff. Set aside. Garnish: If making Sage Leaves, melt remaining 5 T Butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat, swirling gently, until foamy and just beginning to brown. Add Sage Leaves, swirling to submerge and cook until frizzled, about 15 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer Sage to a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle very lightly with salt. Plate: Ladle Soup into warmed bowls, spoon dollops of Spiced Whipped Cream or Mexican Crema onto each one and top of frizzled Sage Leaves or chopped fresh Chives. Serve right away.