This is a seriously delicious soup from Sara Foster and her book The Foster's Market Cookbook. It doesn't taste overpoweringly of butternut squash, the ingredients are much better balanced than that. Both the butternut squash and the tomatoes and garlic are roasted before going into the soup, which really add a depth of flavor. It's super healthy, super duper flavorful and, frankly, beautiful with the swirls of tomato added in at the last second. I served it warm, but Foster says that it's also delicious chilled so it makes for great leftovers. I really can't recommend this soup too highly.
Foster gives a few options for which herbs to use, bellow you'll find what I did. She also prepares the soup with corn bread croutons in order to use up left-over cornbread. I didn't have any, so we had crusty peasant-style bread instead. But the cornbread croutons sound amazing. Another incentive to pick up the book.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Tomatoes and Thyme
1 butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
6 plum tomatoes cored and halved
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 stick butter
1 red onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
1/2 cup fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried sage
Juice of 2 oranges
Oven preheated to 450
Pour 1 cup of water and a little of the olive oil into a baking pan and place the squash cut-side down in the pan. Roast the squash for 35 minutes, until tender.
Toss the tomato halves and the garlic cloves with more of the olive oil and with the vinegar, then put them in another baking dish and roast them for 30 minutes until soft and with shriveled skin.
Heat the rest of the olive oil and the butter over medium heat in a dutch oven (at least, that's what I used, and I'd say I used about half that amount of butter but deglazed the pan every once in a while with a bit of chicken stock). Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, then add the carrots and celery and continue to cook until all the vegetables are soft. Stir often.
Add the broth, the salt and pepper to taste and reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. In the meantime scoop the squash out of the skin and add it to the soup. Continue simmering for another 20 minutes.
In the meantime again, crush the now-cooled tomatoes into little chunks, either with your hands or with a potato masher. Keep the juiced, you'll add everything into the soup.
If you don't have an immersion blender (and really, why don't you? It makes life much easier), remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool a bit before blending it in a food processor in batches. If you do have an immersion blender, immerse and blend away right on the stove. Once the soup is smooth, or at least a consistency to your liking, add in the tomatoes, their juices, the orange juice and the herbs. Stir to mix and serve.
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I'm really excited about this post, because I'm sending it in to one of my very favorite bloggers, one who inspired me to start this thing in the first place. This goes to Ilva, of Lucullian Delights for the October edition of The Heart of the Matter. This month's color theme is yellow/orange!