Winter Vegetable Soup
This soup is comforting and very healthful. I skip the cream, and roast the vegetables, to impart even more flavor.
Butternut squash (1 lb. organic, peeled and cut squash)
Acorn squash (medium size) quartered and seeded (no need to peel at this point)
5 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 med onion, chopped
4 – 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 garlic cloves, minced
Several sprigs of fresh thyme, and 3-4 fresh sage leaves, torn into pieces
1 tbsp. of unsalted butter
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, using 2 large rimmed baking sheets, spread out the butternut squash, the cut carrots, and the acorn squash in one layer. Salt and pepper generously. Using your fingers, slide the thyme leaves off their sprigs, and toss the thyme and torn sage over all of the vegetables. Dribble olive oil over the vegetables, and place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender. I usually use two racks and switch the baking sheets midway.
Meanwhile, chop the onion, mince the garlic, and cook until soft and transparent, in a large soup pan, with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter, about 5-7 minutes. I often add the minced garlic a few minutes later, so it doesn’t burn.
Add 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock to the soup pan and bring to a simmer.
Once the vegetables are roasted, remove them from the oven. When the acorn squash is cool enough to handle, peel back and remove the skin, chop the squash and add to the soup pan, along with the butternut squash cubes and the carrots. Add another ½ tsp. of salt and ¼ tsp. of pepper.
Bring the mixture to a boil, lower and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Working in batches, puree the vegetables and broth in a food processor, a good blender, or using an immersion blender. I use a blender, and transfer each batch into another soup pan. If, when you are finished, you find the soup is still too thick, you can add another cup stock or water, until you get the consistency you prefer. Stir, season to taste, and serve hot.