Saturday, November 21, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


1 (1 1/2 pound) butternut squash, peeled seeded and rough chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1 cup small dice onion
1/2 cup small dice carrot
1/2 cup small dice celery
1/2 cup small dice leeks
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
11/2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh chopped sage leaves


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the chopped squash in a medium-size mixing bowl. Drizzle the squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place the squash on top of the sheet pan. Set the sheet pan into the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until the squash is lightly caramelized and tender.

Remove the squash from the oven and set aside. Place a 1-gallon saucepan over medium high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and render the Italian sausage. Cook, stirring often until the meat is caramelized and has released most of its fat, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery and leeks in the pan and sweat, stirring often for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and sweat for 1 minute stirring continuously.
Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and add the chicken stock to the pan. Place the squash in the pan with the maple syrup and sage.

Bring the pan to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook the soup for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are all tender. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency and velvety texture. Alternately, you can puree the soup in batches using a blender.

Add in heavy cream and heat through. Taste the soup and re-season if necessary with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Keep warm until serving.

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