Maple syrup… oh MY goodness, how I love you so. Now I’m not taking about the stuff that comes in the plastic lady. I’m talking about the real deal, straight from the tree, sappy goodness. You know- the kind that comes in the awesome brown jug or glass bottle? Yeah, that’s the stuff. And one of my favorite things to do with butternut squash and sweet potatoes is roast it with some good ol’ maple syrup. YUM! So much so that I decided to make a soup out of it.
Since the squash season has almost passed I thought that I had better hurry up and get this post up here before it’s too late for any of you to partake in it’s deliciousness. I know that this past fall I shared another recipe for squash soup with you. That one was significantly more tangy, less creamy and more vegetable-y. THIS soup… it’s far more decadent. And one of my own creation : ) I love soup’s. They are so easy to throw together and make them your own.
This soup starts out with a diced butternut squash and chunked apple, roasted together with some olive oil and maple syrup until nice and caramelized. An onion is sauteed until tender, then the roasted squash and apple are added to the mixture. Oh, and don’t forget the pinch of cayenne ; ) The vegetables and apple are simmered together in some chicken broth to let the flavor meld. After the simmer, the mixture is blended until completely smooth. And here is one of the secrets to this soup- cream cheese is then added to the soup. It provides a slight contrasting tanginess while adding the luxuriousness of a cream soup.
Finally, to top it all off I caramelized some pumpkin seeds in the oven with some brown sugar and cinnamon. I don’t know how I feel about my technique for this though. I mixed the brown sugar and cinnamon with the oil and then tossed it with the seeds before the roast- the brown sugar didn’t stick to the seeds at all. I changed the recipe to a technique used for some roasted nuts I made and it worked much better than my attempt here. Hopefully it will stick for you. If not, the soup is fine on it’s own with some sour cream.
All in all I think this was a really great soup. Even plain without the extra step of roasting some pumpkin seeds is was delicious. I just made that addition to introduce another element of sweetness, along with some spice and texture. But it’s not necessary.
- 2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1″ chunks
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced into 1″ chunks
- 2 Tb maple syrup
- 2 Tb olive oil, plus 1 additional Tb
- 1 medium onion, diced
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 quart (4 cups, 32 oz) low sodium chicken broth
- 4 oz (half a block) cream cheese, chunked and at room temperature
- ¾ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 egg white
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- sour cream, optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss squash and apple with maple syrup and oil on a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, toss and return to oven. Roast an additional 20 minutes or until well-browned.
- Heat oil in a medium dutch oven over med-high heat. Sautee onion until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add squash and apple, continue to sautee for another 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, cayenne, 1½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.
- Using immersion blender or blender, puree soup until smooth. Return to pot on stove, add in cream cheese cubes and stir to melt. Soup should be nice and creamy. Add extra chicken broth to thin out if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- For the Topping: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Break egg white up with fork to liquify. Mix in sugar and cinnamon then add pepitas. Roast pepitas on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10-15 minutes or until well toasted. Let cool for a few minutes to harden. Garnish on top of soup with sour cream.