2 butternut squash, halved with seeds scooped out and discarded.
3-4 large carrots, diced (they add texture and sweetness).
1 large sweet onion, diced (Vidalia is best)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
40 cracks of freshly ground pepper (or 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
32 ounces chicken broth
Plus, additional water or cream as needed to adjust creaminess
For the Garnish
2 cups fresh cranberries (You can also use canned, whole cranberries as your garnish)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pint of heavy cream (for whipping)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- With a heavy chef's knife, cut the squash in half holding them vertically and firmly. Be careful--it's a tough squash to cut through. Next, using a large spoon, scoop out all the seeds and discard.
- Place the halved squash cut side up on a heavy baking sheet and coat with olive oil, then season with sea salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the squash becomes very soft and a bit browned.
- While the squash is roasting, dice your onion and carrots.
- Next, saute the diced onion in a large sauce pan drizzled with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the onions with the sugar (this helps bring out their sweetness). Saute until the onions are translucent, then add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until the carrots are beginning to get tender. You can remove from the heat when they are ready until the squash are finished roasting.
- When the squash are done, remove from oven and scoop out the flesh, then add to your onions and carrots.
- Add the chicken broth, salt, cracked pepper, thyme, nutmeg and stir well. Simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are very tender.
- Use an immersion blender (THIS is the one I use) to blend the soup to your preferred level of texture. Some people like this soup thick, some leave a bit of rustic texture while others might add a bit of water or cream to make a smoother soup. Personally, we tend to like it a bit thick. At this point, taste your soup and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.
- GARNISH: Place about 2 cups fresh cranberries in a small saucepan along with the allspice and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened and bubbling. You can prepare this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
- Whip some cold heavy cream to soft peaks.
- To serve, place a spoonful of cranberries in the center of your bowl of soup, then add a dollop or two of fresh whipped cream.
Serve with some crusty, heated bread and a glass of Prosecco.