Sometimes I like to have an adult version of butternut squash soup. Don’t get me wrong, I love the pureed version, but there are times when a chunky version fits the “chilly Fall day” without feeling like you are eating baby food.
This recipe came about like most of the ones I do…..I look in the fridge and see all the leftovers and “not-enough-ofs” and go from there. Today, October 9th, in Northern Ontario, Mother Nature decided to jack up the temperature, just for fun I guess after a solid week of cold, blustery, rainy weather. It ended up being 75F (24C) and very humid, but the day didn’t start out like that so at 6 am in the morning I roasted a butternut squash until soft, golden and filling the house with its delicious nutty aroma and left it to cool while I did some outdoor chores.
12 hours later and starving, I pulled out 3 leftover parsnips from the fridge, the last of the carrots I yanked from the garden today and the remaining equation to the culinary trio, some celery and onions. After dicing my way through the veggies to some very lively Spanish guitar music, soon the holy trinity et al were being sautéed to a golden brown. I then added the chunks of squash, freshly made chicken stock (thank you sweet son-in-law for leaving me with the cherished poultry carcasses last weekend), along with some just picked garden thyme and voila, after a 30 minute simmer…delicioso!!!!
For those needing structure, the recipe is below in its entirety, but oh man, was it fabulous with toasted whole grain bread and a sprinkle of parmesan I think it is my new favourite soup!
Chunky Roasted Butternut Squash & Root Veggie Soup
1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes*
3 Parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large rib of Celery, diced
1/2 Red Onion, diced
2 small cloves of Garlic, mashed
5 Cups Home-Made Chicken Stock (use Veggie stock for a vegetarian option)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper & Sea Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
* Toss cubed squash lightly with Olive Oil and Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400F degree oven for about 30 minutes or until browned all over and tender inside (stir often), set aside and let cool.
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add 2 to 3 Tbsp of Olive Oil and add the onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic and thyme leaves. Cook, stirring often for about 10 to 15 minutes until veggies are soft.
Add butternut squash and mix gently. Add stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings just before serving.
Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan and toasted, crusty bread for dipping.
Makes about 6 Cups.