Garnished with sage, pancetta and amaretti cookies, this rich and creamy squash soup makes a great starter for dinner parties.
– 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 5 cup to 6 cups)
– 4 shallots, halved
– 3 garlic cloves, peeled
– 2 tbsp. olive oil
– 1 tbsp. melted butter
– 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
– 1 to 2 tbsp. honey
– 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
– Pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
– 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
– Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
– 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
– 1 small apple, peeled and diced
– 3 to 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
– 1/2 to 1 cup whipping cream
– 2 tbsp. olive oil
– 4 slices pancetta
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 8 to 12 sage leaves
– 4 to 6 amaretti cookies, crushed
– Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil.
Add squash, shallots, garlic, olive oil, butter, sage, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Transfer to large baking sheet.
Bake, stirring occasionally, until squash is just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add roasted squash mixture, potato and apple to a large saucepan. Add enough stock to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered until veggies are tender.
With an immersion blender or blender, puree until smooth.
Add 1/2 cup whipping cream and heat through. If soup is too thick, add more cream. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
In a frying pan over medium heat, fry pancetta in 2 tbsp. olive oil until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel to drain.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a small frying pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel to drain, reserving sage oil.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with crushed amaretti cookies, pancetta, Parmesan cheese, fried sage leaves and drizzle with reserve sage oil.
Yield: 4 servings
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