butternut squash soup with winter spices

I've updated by roasted butternut squash soup recipe by adding a unique winter spice blend. This blend has everything from orange peel and candied ginger to pink peppercorns and cinnamon sticks.  The roasted quash with its delicate yet subtly sweet flavor is the perfect vehicle to bring out this array of spices (and flavors!) And making it was an absolute cinch.

I quartered a whole butternut squash and roasted it in the oven with 2 carrots until the squash was tender. Peeling butternut squash is one of my least favorite things to do. And I realized that you don't have to painstakingly cube and peel a butternut squash in order to roast it. I simply cut the squash into quarters and roasted it skin-on.  Once it was cooked, I was able to discard the seeds and scoop out the flesh with ease.  I then reserved the roasted squash and carrots.

Next, I sauteed an onion and two garlic cloves in a little olive oil over medium heat until the onion was translucent and cooked through, about 7 minutes.  And now for the easy part--I simply added the roasted squash and carrots, onion, garlic, apple sauce, vegetable stock, salt and winter spice blend to my Vitamix E310 blender and I blended until I had a smooth, creamy and flavorful soup! And the best part of soup are the toppings. I sprinkled a generous amount of hazelnuts and pink peppercorns.  Pink peppercorns are incredibly mild and slightly sweet and a great way to infuse a burst of flavor to this dish.

I had the pleasure of sharing this dish along with some other Vitamix-inspired dishes at brunch at TheFeedFeed's new Brooklyn location.  I hope you can make this dish and share it with friends as well!

Butternut Squash Soup with Winter Spices

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

One butternut squash, quartered 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 cup apple sauce 4 cups vegetable stock 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste) 1 tablespoon Winter Spice Blend To garnish: fresh thyme sprigs, roasted hazelnuts, pink peppercorns, orange peel, and cream

Method

Place the quartered butternut squash and chopped carrots on a lined baking sheet. You can leave the pulp and seeds in tact. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and bake in an oven at 375 F for about one hour. The squash should be lightly browned and have a few brown spots. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, remove the stringy pulp and seeds with a spoon. Scoop the remaining flesh out and reserve in a bowl along with the carrots.

Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sautee until the onions are translucent, about seven minutes.

Transfer the squash, carrots, onion, garlic, apple sauce, vegetable stock, salt and spices to a blender. Blend according to directions, until smooth and creamy. Re-heat if necessary and ladle into bowls. Top with garnishes and serve immediately.

This post was written in partnership with TheFeedFeed and Vitamix

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