Roasted Winter Squash and Sweet Potato Soup with Apple Butter Cream


3 pounds winter squash
1 pound small sweet potatoes
4 TBS butter
2 large leeks, white and tender green parts, chopped and rinsed (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp garam masala spice blend
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 sweet-tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and chopped
3 short thyme sprigs
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 cup apple cider, plus more as needed
2 TBS freshly grated ginger
2 TBS brown sugar, or to taste
1/4 to 3/4 cup half and half or whole milk, as needed
Apple Butter Cream to garnish (recipe below)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Place the halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Arrange the sweet potatoes around the side of the pan. Roast until the squash is easily pierced with a knife and the potatoes are soft when gently squeezed, about 45 minutes. (Check the sweet potatoes after 30 minutes as they might cook more quickly. Larger squash and pumpkins will take 1 hour or longer.) Let cool enough to handle. Scoop the flesh from the squash shells into a large bowl. Peel the sweet potatoes and add them to the bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until very soft, but not browned at all, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, ground ginger, and coriander and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the stock, apples, thyme, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat, and simmer until the apples very are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the squash, sweet potatoes, cider, grated ginger, and brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the thyme stems.
  5. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender and return it to the pot, or purée the soup directly in the pot with an immersion blender.  Taste the soup and add more salt or brown sugar, if needed.
  6. Whisk in the half and half. Gently rewarm the soup over low heat, but don’t let it boil. Serve warm, topped with a little Apple Butter Cream.

Apple Butter Cream
1/4 cup apple butter
1 cup crème fraîche

Whisk together the apple butter and crème fraîche in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Whisk before using.

Make-Ahead Note: The soup tastes best when made at least one day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to three days. Reheat gently and check the seasoning before serving.

Serves 12

© Sheri Castle, 2010

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