Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash
1 large yellow onion
2 T olive oil
Fresh peeled ginger, about a 2-inch piece
Fresh rosemary needles, about a palm full
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 apples, peeled and cored
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup sherry
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Half and half
Sour cream and sauteed sage leaves, for garnish
Line a deep roasting pan with heavy foil. All the produce will eventually go in this pan.
Poke the butternut squash full of holes (avoid exploding squash in your holiday oven). Wrap the squash tightly in heavy foil and place it in the roasting pan.
(The others will join the squash later. But because it’s so hardheaded, it’ll need a roasting head start.)
Bake the squash in a 450-degree oven for about 1 hour.
Now allow the other produce to join the hot squash in the roasting pan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until everything is soft and nicely roasted. (You almost can’t overdo it.)
Remove the pan from the oven. When the squash is cool enough to handle, unwrap it, peel it and remove the little seeds and strings.
Dump all the roasted ingredients in a blender or food processor. (You may have to do it in batches.)
Transfer the puree to a huge pot. Add the chicken stock. Heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Add the sherry. Adjust seasonings.
Just before serving, add the half and half and return to a simmer.
After you’ve ladeled the soup into bowls, add a swirl of sour cream (or half and half). Garnish with the sage leaves. (Croutons, chopped parsley or chives are also nice.)