Roasted Harvest Butternut Squash Soup
1 Sweet Vidalia Onion
2 stalks of celery
2 cups of diced carrots
½ cup Italian Parsley
1 clove of garlic
2 large butternut squash
Salt and Pepper (can add cayenne or spicy seasoning for an extra kick if you wish)
4 Tbs Olive Oil
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
10 whole cloves
64 oz (2 Qts) of stock (Chicken or veggie is great)
1 cup of Half & Half (OPTIONAL!!)
1 12 oz brick of soft silken tofu (OPTIONAL – SEE EXPLANATION BELOW)
Cut skin off the squash, halve, seed and cube. Put cubed squash in a bowl and add 2 TBS Olive Oil, salt & pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey and brown sugar. Combine and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 until caramelized. Set aside to cool.
In a pot combine 2 TBS Olive Oil with diced onion, celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add diced garlic and roughly cut parsley, stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes over medium heat. (**If looking to add protein to the soup, dice and add the tofu at this point. I guarantee you will NOT taste it in the final product and it makes the soup even more nutritious and creamier!) Add roasted squash, cloves and combine. Add stock and stir.
Cover pot and bring to a boil – then lower heat to bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes (stirring every 10 minutes or so). Take a ladle and fish out cloves – It’s okay if you don’t get them all. Puree soup using a blender until smooth. If using an upright blender PLEASE hold the top down TIGHTLY with a dish towel while blending so it doesn’t fly off, sending hot soup everywhere! Once soup is smooth, transfer back to another pot and taste for seasoning. At this point, you can add the ½ & ½ - It adds a further richness to the soup, but it’s far from necessary. Keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped parsley, parmesan crisps or homemade croutons.