Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Not every recipe needs to be complex or entirely innovative, so this is my version of butternut squash soup (or at least the one I made today) - every time I make it, I slightly modify it by adding a dash of a different spice. This one has a hint of coconut, which I added right as the soup was done. I'll include all of my variations below!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup [4-6 servings] Ingredients - 1 large butternut squash - 1/2 cup cream - 3 cups chicken stock - 2 cups of water

- 1 celery stalk, diced - 1/2 white onions, diced - 2 carrots, diced - 1/2 tsp cumin powder - 1 tsp paprika - 2 bay leaves - salt and pepper to taste - 1 tsp + 1 tbsp oil

- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil (flavor to your liking) + foil and roasting pan

Optional Variations

(Make the recipe as above, but modify with the following..not all of them, pick 1-2 complimentary flavors)

- 1 tsp red chili flakes (adds some heat)

- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder (extra heat!)

- 2 cloves of garlic (roasted with your butternut squash)

- 3 sprigs of thyme

- 1/2 cup of pancetta

- 1-2 tsp chili garlic paste

- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

- 1-3 tbsp maple syrup

...etc


Toppings

- toasted pumpkin seeds

- creme fraiche (or sub. sourcream mixed with a splash of milk)

- parsley oil (large handful of fresh parsley + 50 ml olive oil - to make the parsley oil, combine the parsley and oil in a small food processor then blend until the parsley is very finely chopped. Pass the mixture through a sieve and discard the parsley.

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400′F. Cut the butternut squash in half, and core the middle. Remove all the seeds, brush the butternut squash with 1 tsp oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the butternut squash in foil, and bake for 30-40 minutes. 2. While the butternut squash is baking, sauté onion, paprika, cumin, and remaining oil in a large pot on medium heat (~3-4 minutes). Add celery, carrots, and water and bring to a simmer. 3. Remove butternut squash from the oven, and allow to come to room temperature. Carefully scoop the butternut squash away from the center, throwing away the peel. Add the butternut squash to the pot, along with chili flakes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook until all the vegetables are tender (~20 minutes). Reduce heat and temper the cream by adding a small amount of the soup base to the cream, then adding the entirety back to the pot. Continue cooking on low heat for 5 minutes. 4. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove bay leaves, and carefully puree the soup with a handheld food processor. Return the soup back to the stove and continue cooking on low, to allow the flavors to develop, at this point, add your coconut oil– the secret to great soup is slow cooking; it's just better this way... it'll taste even better the next day. 5. Garnish with parsley oil and creme fraiche before serving. For added flair, accompany the soup with toasted bread croutons or pumpkin seeds.


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