What's For Lunch: Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Grey skies and drizzly weather call for a hot bowl of soup. This delicious soup brings together the flavors of roasted butternut squash lightly sweetened with maple syrup, sautéed shallot, garlic, nutmeg, and sage. It's basically autumn in a bowl.

While I have owned a Vitamix for awhile (a generous Christmas gift from my parents a few years' back), I've never used it make soup. And, uh, the fact that you can blend a pitcher full of ingredients into hot, steaming soup is kind of amazing.

Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup || A Less Processed Life

If you don't have a high-performance blender, you can easily finish this soup on the stovetop and puree the ingredients with an immersion blender. (Or blend in several batches using a standard blender.)

I garnished my bowl of soup with roasted pepitas; a little chopped fresh sage or a dollop of Greek yogurt, would also be an excellent idea.

Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (printer-friendly version)
makes 4-6 servings

For the maple-roasted squash:
1 large butternut squash (2-3 pounds), ends removed, halved vertically, and seeded
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon maple syrup, divided
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:
1/2 cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
4 cups (32 ounces) low-sodium vegetable broth
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fine sea salt, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the butternut squash on the prepped baking sheet and rub each half (both sides) with olive oil. Drizzle each half (flesh-side up) with 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place flesh-side down on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh into a bowl, discarding the remaining skin shell.
2. While the squash is roasting, prep the other ingredients. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until tender and just golden on the edges, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds.
3. Add the shallot-garlic mixture to your high-performance blender (such as a Vitamix). Add the butternut squash, nutmeg, and sage. Pour in the vegetable broth (do not overfill the container). Blend on high until well-combined and hot, about 5 minutes. If you do not have a Vitamix, add all the ingredients to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.
4. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup || A Less Processed Life