"Butternut Squash Soup" that's perfect for the season:
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- Garnishes: roasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of cream, chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Roast in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and the onions are translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and thyme to the pot, and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the roasted butternut squash to the pot and pour in the vegetable or chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it's smooth and creamy. Alternatively, you can carefully transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth, then return it to the pot.
- If you prefer a creamier soup, stir in the heavy cream at this point and gently heat the soup without boiling. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the butternut squash soup hot, garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of cream, and chopped fresh parsley for a touch of freshness and color.
Enjoy this comforting and flavorful butternut squash soup as a delightful fall appetizer or as a cozy main course with some crusty bread on the side.