Sunday, October 13, 2013

(Copycat) Autumn Squash Soup

Yes, it's that time of year. Autumn.

Time for football, leaves falling and SOUP. Glorious, warm, comforting soup.

I'll be honest, I tried the Autumn Squash Soup at Panera Bread and fell in love. It's a perfect marriage of flavors and texture and, frankly, it's heaven on a spoon. Thus began my quest to recreate the recipe.

So, that's what I did. oh was delicious! I still have some tweaking to do but I think it's pretty much right on the money. Easy to make and really very inexpensive. 

Of course, what's a recipe if not shared?

Here you go:

Autumn Squash Soup

1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2 TBSP butter, melted
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used Gala, use your favorite)
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 onion, diced
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Coconut Oil)
1 15oz can of pure pumpkin
1/4 Cup of Honey (or to taste)
1 32oz carton of vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock if you aren't cooking vegetarian)
1/2 pint heavy cream (or soy milk)
1/8 TSP Pumpkin Pie Spice (or to taste)
1/8 TSP Cinnamon (or to taste)
1/8 TSP Curry (or to taste...the darker the curry the sweeter it is...or so they say)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Place diced butternut squash on a foil-lined baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and pumpkin pie spice. Roast for 1 hour or until fork-tender.

While the squash is roasting, saute the apples, carrots, celery, onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Season with salt, pepper, 1/8 TSP pumpkin pie spice, 1/8 TSP cinnamon and 1/8 TSP of curry. (Of course these are all approximate spice measurements and will vary based on your taste...remember, you can always add more but you can't take it back out!)

Transfer sauteed veggies to a blender or food processor and puree. If you have an immersion blender, please use that! If you use a blender or food processor, take care because the veggies are hot and will need proper ventilation for steam.
As you puree, add small amounts of vegetable stock to make the blending process easier.
Add puree back to soup pot.

When the squash is fork-tender, remove from the oven and puree. If using an immersion blender, simply add to the soup pot and blend with the veggie puree.

Add all purees to the pot and then add a can of pumpkin and mix and the honey. Add heavy cream or soy milk and remaining vegetable stock until desired consistency is reached. (As a point of reference, this soup should be roughly the consistency of baby food. was the best comparison I could come up with!)

Serve hot and garnished with pepitas or sunflower seeds.

A nice, crusty baguette or sandwich is also a nice addition.

Sit down and savor this soup. It is divine in its complexity and also in its simplicity.

This dish is vegetarian and gluten-free in my recipe, but can easily be made vegan by utilizing soy milk. It is also a nice addition to a Paleo diet. :)

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