A Very Fall Butternut Squash and Other Roasted Veggies Soup
If I didn't make roasted butternut squash soup did this season even happen? We'll never know- because I did indeed make roasted butternut squash soup. And it was tasty.
soup and shadows
When it comes to fall meal choices, butternut squash soup might be the most obvious. So I had to make it at least once this season. More importantly, I really think it's the easiest way to make butternut squash. Why wrestle with this gourd, stain your hands and then make them feel dry, when you can just, not? Enter the roasted veggie soup. Not only is butternut squash given the 'roast it whole and blend it all' treatment, but so are carrots, parsnips, onions, and garlic. It's the easiest dinner you barely made. The slightly sweet, earthy flavour also lends itself well to a number of other flavourings; warm spices like cinnamon and clove, ginger, tahini, miso, coconut milk, brown butter or curry spices. The list goes on. In fact, I'd love to know how you jazz up your squash soups.
In my case, I chose to add tahini because it adds body and richness – especially since I didn't use any cream. You might be wondering how I make this creamy soup without cream, it's all thanks to the humble parsnip. It's between a carrot and a potato, and it doesn't get the attention it deserves. Typically, I love adding potato to any soup to create a creamy texture. Here, I only had parsnips and it worked out just the same.
One of the best things about this dish? It's super forgiving. Got five carrots? Great. Only have two left in your kitchen? Still great.
Here's, roughly, how it went down:
1 medium sized butternut squash
3-6 carrots, washed and chopped *no need to peel these, save your time
2 or 3 parsnips, washed and chopped *again, don't peel them
1 large onion, sliced thinly
4 large garlic cloves *skins on
fresh or dried rosemary and thyme
salt and pepper
8-12 cups chicken or vegetable broth *this will depend on how thick you like your soup
1/2 tsp chili flakes or 1/2 fresh chili *this will depend on how spicy you like your soup
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tahini
2-3 tbsp water to thin
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of smoked paprika and/or cayenne
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. Cut the butternut squash in half crosswise, and cut each half in half again lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and place them in a bowl. Cover them with water which helps separate the stringy squash bits from the seeds. Set this aside for now.
Brush olive oil on the cut sides of the squash, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, then set it cut side down, and roast for about 20-30 minutes. When you can pierce through the skin with a fork and the cut sides are browning nicely, it's done. Scoop the flesh out from the skin and throw it into the blender. Accidentally get some skin in there? No problem.
Meanwhile, toss the carrots, parsnips, onion, and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Break up the rosemary and thyme sprigs all over. Roast for 20 minutes or so, until the veggies are soft and browning around the edges. You should be able to crush the garlic and see garlic paste breaking through. Squish out all that goodness and discard the garlic skin. If you notice any of your onion bits are burnt or charred, snack on them but don't throw them in the blender as they will make it bitter.
When everything is done, throw it into the blender in batches along with the squash, broth, chili and nutmeg. Blend until it is velvety smooth, adding salt and broth as you need. Pour the batches of soup into a pot to keep it nice and hot. Let it simmer on low to allow the flavours to come together.
Back to those squash seeds. Decrease the oven heat to 400F. Pick off the stringy squash bits, drain and dry the seeds off well. Toss them in the pan that had previously housed the veggies (there's extra oil and flavour there!), and toss with salt, pepper and any dried spices you like. I like paprika and garlic powder or this. Curry powder, steak spice, chili powder or cayenne will all work. Mix it up, have some fun. Roast them for about 10 minutes. I like to toss them halfway through to ensure they turn out crispy but not burnt.
Finally, stir together the tahini, water, vinegar, salt, pepper and smoked paprika until it's nice and smooth. Sounds tasty, doesn't it?
When you're ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in some (or a lot) of the tahini sauce. Sprinkle the roasted seeds all over. This particular night I also sprinkled salty roasted lentils on top, I really like these, and a drizzle of fresh olive oil.
Consider this a warm, comforting bowl of autumn. Enjoy it and check 'Make Butternut Squash Soup' off of your fall to-do list.