Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup is one of my all-time favorite Fall recipes. Nothing screams warm and cozy like a bowl of this liquid gold. Roasting the squash caramelizes the sugars and intensifies the flavors, giving you a rich sweetness that will literally take your breath away. It will also make your home smell like a butternut wonderland. And as if roasting squash couldn’t get any better, it will save you from the tortuous task of peeling the skin, which, if you’ve ever wrestled a butternut squash, should make you want to get up right now and go preheat your oven.

This recipe is made extra special by the addition of fresh sage. Sage and butternut squash go together like an inhale and exhale. I added sage three ways: roasted with the squash in the oven, sautéed with the onions and garlic, and then fried as a garnish. Sage gives an undeniable depth of flavor to this soup; it’s just the je ne sais quoi that will make this recipe a favorite in your kitchen.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

4 – 5 pounds (two small, or one huge) Butternut Squash, cut in half lengthwise
olive oil
fresh sage, whole leaves for roasting and frying, plus a few leaves finely chopped (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 Tbsp unsalted butter*
3 cups chicken stock*
salt and pepper

*You can easily transform this into a vegan recipe by swapping the butter and chicken stock for olive oil and vegetable stock.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut the butternut squash into half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil into each of the troughs where you just scooped out the seeds. Use your clean hands to rub the olive oil all over the fleshy surface of the squash. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place the squash skin side down on a baking sheet. Lift up one side of the squash, like you’re just taking a quick peak underneath, and slip a few sage leaves into the trough. The sage will steam under the butternut squash and permeate the flesh with amazing flavor! Roast in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the squash is a pile of mushy goodness.

Let the butternut squash cool, about 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion in 2 Tbsp butter on medium high until soft and translucent, approximately 8 minutes. Add the chopped sage and the garlic. Please be mindful not to burn the garlic!!! When garlic burns it becomes bitter. You have to watch it like a hawk because it can go from perfect to burnt in a flash, so here’s my tip: turn off the heat (or take your pot off the burner) before you add the garlic, and then be ready to quickly add your chicken or vegetable stock, which will stop the cooking.

Scoop out the flesh of the roasted butternut squash and add it to the pot. Stir well.

Turn the heat back on to high and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir again.

Transfer the soup in small batches to a blender. If you have a Vitamix, go do whatever it is you do with your Vitamix and I will practice Sutra 1.33 — cultivating friendliness rather than jealousy for you and your fancy equipment — while I use my blender from 2001. Note: you could also use an immersion blender, which will give the soup a more rustic consistency. I prefer velouté, or a smooth, velvety finish, for butternut squash soup.

Finally, add seasoning. Salt really brings out the flavors, so I would start with at least a teaspoon and then taste it and see if it needs more. When in doubt, add more salt.

Note: You can always thin out the soup by adding a little more stock.

For the garnish, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a small pan until bubbling. Add a few sage leaves and give them a quick fry — not even a minute. Lay them on a paper towel to soak up the excess butter.

Pour your soup into a pretty bowl and top with the fried sage. Sometimes I like to add a dollop of crême fraiche for a little tang.

While this Roasted Butternut Squash recipe tastes decadent, it’s also a healthy, wholesome meal. The versatility of this recipe makes it the perfect lunch or quick meal as well as the perfect compliment to an elegant dinner. I’m so happy to share this recipe with you! I just know you’re going to love it!

Chrissy
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