I love starting an elegant dinner or holiday meal with a small bowl of soup, just to get everyone’s appetites revved up. It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate, and I tend to steer away from anything heavy or overly rich since there is a big meal ahead. But something gorgeous, smooth and silky, with loads of flavor, is just the ticket. I prefer to serve soups that are filled with seasonal vegetables, and at this time of year, there's nothing more seasonal and more universally friendly (read: kid-and-picky-family-eater-friendly) than a simple yet seductive bowl of creamy butternut squash soup.
Just to make this a little more special than your everyday butternut squash soup—and I daresay that this could be eaten every day and anytime you want a nice, warm utterly delicious bowl of soup—I added a few tart apples, plenty of fresh ginger root, and a dash of cream.
For a big gathering, serve this as passed appetizers in shot glasses, topped with a little dollop of crème fraiche and chopped fresh herbs for garnish.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Ginger
Makes about 6 servings
- 2 1/2 to 3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Crème fraiche, for serving
- Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Place the butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast, turning occasionally, until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- In a large, wide saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil and the onion, apples, and ginger and cook, stirring, until tender. Stir in the roasted squash, chicken stock, and cream.
- In batches if necessary, ladle the soup mixture into a blender and puree until silky smooth. Add enough additional chicken stock as needed to produce an even consistency. Return to the saucepan and re-warm the soup until hot.
- Top each portion with a dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of parsley and serve at once.