>Is it wrong to feel so alive as everything around me is dying? To dance with the leaves as they fall to the ground? I can’t help it. I love fall with its crimsons, its burnt siennas, and its sulfuric yellows. Just walking to school is like walking through a Monet painting, leaves crinkling under foot, the whole world bathed in a golden glow. There’s such a frenzy to make the most of every day before the cold settles in.
As soon as I spot that first leaf flying through the air, I start craving butternut squash soup. I make it pretty much every week during that crisp fleece weather. And if I forget, Juliette is quick to remind me. She loves the sweet orange soup just as much as I do.
Yesterday we shared our first bowl of the season together, outside, sitting cross legged on a patchwork of leaves in our postage stamp backyard. Roasted butternut squash soup tastes like it looks, warm, sweet, and golden, it fills your belly and keeps that warm, happy feeling deep inside all day. But yesterday, it tasted even better than usual because we knew that this might be our last picnic of the season. Soon enough we’ll be reaching for a big bowl of butternut squash soup to recover from the cold outside.
Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Soup
2 butternut squashes, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
4 cups of chicken stock, preferably homemade
4 carrots – diced coarsely, or 3/4 cups of mini carrots
1 small onion – diced coarsely
2 celery stalks – diced coarsely
2 apples – peeled and cut into coarse chunks
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of salted butter
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the butternut squash into large chunks and pour into a gallon ziplock bag. Pour in olive oil and maple syrup and rub well to cover each piece with the liquids. Open the bag and pour onto either two Pyrex dishes or on a cookie sheet that you covered with aluminum foil. Beware! Squash releases some sort of chemical that coats your hands. You’ll need to scrub like a madman or wear gloves to get the film off.
- Roast at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour – until squash is soft when pierced with a fork.
- Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add diced carrots, onions, and celery and cook over medium to low heat until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add roasted squash and apples chunks. Cover with enough stock to submerge the vegetables.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
- Puree soup with hand mixer.
- Enjoy soup all week for lunch! Optional toppings include: oven dried prosciutto, croutons, blue cheese crumbs or slivers, creme fraiche. Or you can have it plain, as we did today, a virtually no-fat bowl of veggie goodness.