Roasted Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup

I have about 8 butternut squash from my little garden sitting on my counter.  I only planted 2 seeds of butternut squash.  I guess it payed off.  I wonder if you can freeze it.  Guess I'll find out.  Time to make soup.
This is one of my kiddos favorite soups.  They were so excited when they found out I was making it.  It looks like a lot of ingredients (okay, it is) but don't be afraid.  I saw pre-cut-up butternut squash at Costco and at the grocery store, so buy that if you don't want to peel and cut up your very own squash.  It is a bit satisfying to chop away, however.  I like to get out the big knives.
Give the seeds to your chickens, they love them.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup
1 good size butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and rough chopped
1 pound parsnips, peeled and rough chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 pound Italian mild sausage, removed from the casing OR diced ham (optional)
2 cups onion, small diced (about 1 large)
1 cup celery, small diced (about 2 large stalks)
1 cup leeks, small diced (about 1 bunch)
1 shallot, small diced
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff) OR honey
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the chopped squash and parsnips in a large bowl.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil and place the squash and parsnips on top of the sheet pan.
Roast fro 30 minutes, or until the squash is lightly caramelized and tender.
In the meantime, in a large pot, add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil and brown the sausage.  Cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
Add the onions, celery, and leeks in the pan and sweat, stirring often for about 5 minutes.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and add the chicken or vegetable broth to the pan.
Place the squash mixture in the pan with the maple syrup, sage and thyme.
Bring the pan to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are all tender.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency, or you can puree the soup in batches using a blender.  Seriously, haven't you bought an immersion blender yet?
Add the cream and taste the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste (I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.)
Keep it warm until you serve it.

1 comment:

  1. The amazing thing about this soup is that you get so many vegetables. But that Italian sausage adds texture and flavor you don't really expect, and it's great. Add fresh, home-made bread, and you've got an incredible meal. I thought this soup was a tremendous surprise the first time she made it, and it's still just fabulous.