The Perfect Roasted Squash Soup
If you've struggled with squash soup recipes on the internet, if they seem to have an off flavor to you, you're not alone. The secret is to keep it simple. A handful of ingredients to balance squash's flavor is always delicious, and then you can punch it up with a good topping or swirl. This base recipe is unintentionally vegan, but if you are not vegan, something creamy but light - a dollop of ricotta or sour cream - always enhances squash's sometimes delicate flavor.
Mushrooms give depth to any soup and are particularly delicious with squash. Ensuring the stock has a good mushroom flavor is important to balance the other ingredients in this recipe. I use Brodo mushroom and seaweed stock, which you can find in many grocery stores, but there are other mushroom stocks on the market and many recipes on the internet. If you are feeling up to starting from scratch, try this stock from Serious Eats or this one from Bon Appetit.
My favorite way to top this soup is with ricotta and fresh basil, but I understand that it's not vegan and that also some people are sensitive to dairy. There are more suggestions below, but you can serve this simply with a side salad and bread and butter. It is delicious all on its own.
Makes 4 servings.
1 medium butternut or koginut, or two kabocha squash (~3 cups roasted)
1 granny smith apple
1 cup mushroom-based vegetable stock (see below for recommendations)
Cut the squash into wedges and split the apple in half. Brush squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast the squash and apple at 425 degrees until softened and toasted on top (usually at least 30 minutes). Remove squash skins and scoop out apple pulp (minutes the strings and seeds at the core).
Place vegetables in a soup pot. Add mushroom stock and salt and heat thoroughly over med-low heat. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. Simmer until flavors just meld, about 10-15 minutes. Top with toppings and serve with multigrain bread and butter or refrigerate or freeze separately from toppings.
Ricotta and chopped fresh basil
A dollop of sour cream
Drizzles of maple syrup and chili oil and a pinch of smoked paprika
Crumbled bacon and fresh parsley
Chopped mixed herbs
A simple pinch of red pepper flakes