I have had a go-to butternut squash soup recipe for years. The soup has a sweetness from apples used in tandem with the squash. It is a favorite. Recently as we were dining out for dinner, we were served a savory, spicy, butternut squash soup that really caught my interest. The spices seemed to be cumin and a chili to bring the heat. I had the chance to speak with the chef and he confirmed that he indeed used cumin and cayenne powder to season the soup. The soup was very good and went well with a dry Champaigne. Inspiration had struck and here we are. As I often do, I began creating the dish at home.
I roasted the squash along with an onion and several cloves of garlic. Roasting adds color to the vegetables and a depth of flavor. The kitchen smelled great. Once the vegetables are cooled, the rest of the process is easy. Simply puree the vegetables in a blender with broth until smooth, adding in salt and spices. The result is a delicious squash soup in less than an hour and that includes time for roasting and cooling the vegetables. I also like this recipe because there is no need to peel the squash before roasting.
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
1 1/2 pounds fresh butternut squash
1 large yellow onion, peeled cut in half
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, optional
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3-4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, depending on taste preference
1 teaspoon honey
toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sturdy sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
Cut the butternut squash in half or quarters lengthwise, removing and discarding the seeds from the bulb section. Place the squash along with the onion and garlic cloves onto the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle the vegetables with oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place the sheet pan into the hot oven, roasting the vegetables for 35-40 minutes until they are tender and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the squash, leaving the skin behind on the sheet tray. Add the squash, onions, garlic, the leaves of the rosemary, and 1 cup of broth to the blender. Blend until smooth and well pureed. Add in the cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, cayenne, honey and 2 additional cups of broth. Blend until combined. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, and/or cayenne as preferred. Add additional broth if you prefer a thinner soup texture.
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