Roasted Squash Soup with Crispy Basil
Yield: 6 servings
1 medium butternut squash (3–4 pounds)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
12 large basil leaves
Preheat oven to 425°.
Peel squash, halve, scoop out and discard seeds. Cube squash into 2-inch-thick pieces. Add squash, onion and garlic to a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with ½ cup olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325°.
Place squash, onion and garlic into a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups stock and bring to low boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Blend with immersion blender in pot, or carefully pour into blender in batches to purée and then return to pot. Add remaining stock, stir and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, gently rinse basil and pat with paper towels to dry completely. Place flat on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until dark and crispy. Remove from oven.
Portion soup in bowls and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.
Note: You can also use the same quantity of sugar (pie) pumpkin in place of butternut squash. If using pumpkin, slice off the top of the pumpkin, cut in half, scoop out and discard seeds. Place on baking sheet, cut-side up, with onion and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then turn pumpkin face down on baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes. Scoop flesh out once cooked and add to pot with garlic and onion. Follow directions above for finishing soup.
—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin and Mary Oswald