I’m having one of those one step forward – two steps back kind of weeks, and I blame it all on Mother Nature. The kitchen “refresh” is STILL a work in progress as my kids enjoy another day-and-a-half off from school due to more snow, but on the upside I am happy to report that lots of yummy goodness is being produced in this disaster-zone as of late. Who needs cabinet doors anyway? Open cabinetry is so IN right now, right?
My mother loves soup on a cold winter day, so I whipped up one of her favorites for her last night and I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as we do. It’s packed with beta-carotene, and better yet, winter comfort!
Approximately 3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, chopped into 1″ cubes* 1 cup baby carrots, or “adult” carrots chopped into 1″ pieces 1 cup chopped onion 2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1/4 ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup heavy cream (I use half & half) olive oil salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400. In bowl mix squash, carrots and onion with a drizzle of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons); roast 20 minutes. Add apple, stirring to coat with olive oil and prevent veggies from sticking, and continue roasting for another 10-20 minutes or until veggies and apple are fork-tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
In batches add roasted veggies and apple to blender and puree until smooth. Place in stockpot and add chicken broth, syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Whisk to combine. (If you have an immersion blender, you can add the roasted veggies right to the stock pot with the remainder of the ingredients, except for the cream, and puree it right there.) Simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat. Stir in heavy cream or half & half. Season with salt & pepper as desired.
*I used 2 packages of grocery store-prepared squash. **I used 1 Gala, 1 Empire apple because that’s what I had on hand. You can also substitute with pear!