Roasted Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

By Gail Gordon Oliver

ET30 Gails ButternutSquashSoup-th

Wintertime. Soup. A match made in heaven. This is a smooth, slightly sweet and slightly tangy soup that is both nutritious and delicious. It's easy to prepare and makes for a very satisfying first course.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 butternut squash (3 to 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch lengths

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil

1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt, plus more if needed

2 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced, or 1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus more if needed

2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with cooking twine, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed

2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, toss the squash, carrots and sweet potato with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Spread the vegetables evenly onto the prepared pan. Bake in a 425º F oven until the squash is soft and lightly browned on the bottom, 35 to 40 minutes.

In a large stockpot heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Cook the leeks, stirring often until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, nutmeg, turmeric and ginger (if using) and cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in the broth, apples, roasted vegetables, thyme, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.

If fresh thyme was used, remove the stems. Purée the soup (or about one-half of the soup, leaving the balance chunky, if desired) using a hand-held immersion blender or in batches using a countertop blender. Reheat the soup. Stir in the lemon juice (if using). Add additional broth if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.