Butternut Squash Soup with Winter Spices
One butternut squash, quartered 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 cup apple sauce 4 cups vegetable stock 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste) 1 tablespoon Winter Spice Blend To garnish: fresh thyme sprigs, roasted hazelnuts, pink peppercorns, orange peel, and cream
Place the quartered butternut squash and chopped carrots on a lined baking sheet. You can leave the pulp and seeds in tact. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and bake in an oven at 375 F for about one hour. The squash should be lightly browned and have a few brown spots. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, remove the stringy pulp and seeds with a spoon. Scoop the remaining flesh out and reserve in a bowl along with the carrots.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sautee until the onions are translucent, about seven minutes.
Transfer the squash, carrots, onion, garlic, apple sauce, vegetable stock, salt and spices to a blender. Blend according to directions, until smooth and creamy. Re-heat if necessary and ladle into bowls. Top with garnishes and serve immediately.