Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Crisps
It has taken me a long time to write this as this recipe has quite the story attached to it.
In New England, it has been a winter of frigid cold temperatures followed with short dark days where I feel like bears have it right with this hibernating thing. Wake me when spring is here.
Although during the winter season, I do my own kind of hibernation in the form of staying cozy inside with my family and cooking up satisfying dinners with my husband. I should correct that last sentence as my husband really does the cooking and I am the sous chef….the cleaner-upper. However, I do have a few go-to recipes up my sleeve other than chocolate chip cookies. ;) One of them is the super satisfying Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage. When it is raining out and blah, I know the exact ingredients I need to throw into my market basket to make the world bright again. On one such occasion back a year ago, it was an unseasonably cold and wet day when I went to whip up a batch of my soup. In my ‘Tami-fashion’, I was multi-tasking with throwing laundry in the wash, picking up, and making my soup…you get the idea. I was determined to turn the gloomy day around. I had on our Pandora’s ‘Jazzy Jams’ and while barefoot in the kitchen, I began to cut the 3.5 pound waxy skinned butternut squash with our chef knife that Matt and I bought while on a trip to Paris. Right when Louis Armstrong croons the words in his famous gravelly voice, ‘Mack the Knife’ that beautiful Parisian chef knife slipped out of my grip and in slow motion fell blade down right on my big toe. I just remember thinking, “whew, that was close.” And then I saw it - a dark red line appear. I remember calling Matt telling him maybe I just need a band-aid and he could hear the shock in my voice and told me to call our neighbors to help me while he left the naval base. We lived in military housing at the time at Fort Adams and just below our condo unit lived the Halton family. Melissa, a mother of 3, used to all kinds of ER trips, came up with a supply of towels and wraps and even a pair of flip-flops for me! She wrapped me up and got me down the 18 stairs to her awaiting mini-van and whisked me off to the ER. Long story short, I had to get tendon surgery! The medical team wanted to see this Parisian knife that actually took a chunk of my bone out of my toe! So, now I have quite the Harry Potter lightning scar on my toe. And the butternut squash….Matt finished the recipe for me and cleaned up. The things I do to get out of clean-up!
This homemade Butternut Squash Soup will help you get through the rest of the winter blues with it’s beautiful deep orange color and flecks of dusty green sage. One word of advice, use pre-cut butternut squash cubes.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage
2 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 large butternut squash (about 3 1/2 lbs) or PRE-CUT :)
1 small apple of pear, peeled and cored, diced
1 shallot, diced
4-5 fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried sage)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. dark brown sugar, or maple syrup (optional)
4-5 cups low sodium vegetable stock, or water
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Parmesan Crisps topped with Newport Sea Salt’s Rosemary and Thyme sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425 and line a backing sheet with aluminum foil. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise…or toss the the pre-cut cubes in a bowl.
- Brush halved squash with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt or toss the pre-cut pieces with olive oil and sea salt. If you are brave and have cut the squash, place the squash cut-side up on the baking sheet or pour the cubes on to the baking sheet and bake for approximately 60 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle if you have the halved butternut squash.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the apple and shallot, and a pinch of salt, and let cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the sage leaves and let cook for another 2 minutes.
- Using a spoon, scrape the meat of the squash out of its skin and into the pot. Discard the skin. Add the ginger, brown sugar or maple syrup (if using) and 4 cups of vegetable stock or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the soup is done simmering, puree with an immersion blender until smooth, adding more vegetable stock or water as needed to reach the desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
- Soup can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or stored in a freezer for up to a month.
Parmesan Crisps Topped with Rosemary and Thyme Sea Salt
1 (4-ounce) piece of Parmesan Reggiano cheese (without the rind)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary and Thyme sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Grate the Parmesan using the large grating side of a box grater, as you might use to grate carrots. Combine the Parmesan, flour, thyme, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. With a measuring spoon, spoon level tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans, spreading each round into a 3-inch disk. Sprinkle sea salt on top. Toss the mixture each time and scoop from the bottom of the bowl to be sure you get some flour in each spoonful. Bake in the middle of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, loosen with a metal spatula, then cool completely on a baking rack. Serve at room temperature.