Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Stay warm this Fall with my new favorite soup!

butternut-squash

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

-1 butternut squash

-1 yellow onion, chopped

-1 small Granny Smith apple, chopped

-1 small Gala apple, chopped

-5 thyme sprigs

-2 tablespoons butter, melted

-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

-1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

-salt and pepper

-4 cups chicken broth

Instructions:

1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  

2.  Place squash in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes so that it’s softened and easier/safer to cut.  Remove both ends of the squash, then cut in half lengthwise.  Peel the tough, outer skin and remove the “guts” from the inside of the squash.  Continue to cut the squash into smaller, bite-size pieces.

3.  Place the squash in a bowl with the melted butter and thyme leaves, then generously salt and pepper.  Place on the lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.  The squash should be tender enough to pierce with a fork at the end of cooking.

4.  When the squash has cooked for 20 minutes, heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the onions and optional sugar (generally I wouldn’t recommend sugar, but since this is a lot of soup, it’s hardly any sugar per serving).  Add the apples, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook for about 20 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. 

5.  In batches, add the cooked squash and onion/apple mixture to the blender along with a cup of chicken broth with each batch.  Blend until smooth.  Continue to add the squash, onions, apples and broth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with thyme.  Enjoy!

Roasted Chicken Recipe

roasted chicken

I was shocked to learn how easy it is to roast a whole chicken.  Cooking that much bird might seem scary, but the key to a quality chicken, in my opinion, are fresh herbs, garlic, and butter.  It’s best to marinate the chicken a day before cooking (or at least an hour before!) to really let it soak up the flavors of the herbs, lemon, and garlic.  Also, make sure before cooking the chicken that you take the chicken out of the fridge and let it sit out for an hour to get to room temperature.

Items you’ll need for roasting a chicken:

-Roasting pan

-Kitchen string

Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients:

-2-3 lb whole chicken

-2 garlic cloves, diced

-1-2 lemon slices

-Fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme)

-salt and pepper

-butter

-2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Rinse chicken well and scoop out giblets (if any) from the cavity.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels.

3. Liberally salt and pepper the cavity.  Then salt and pepper the outside of the chicken.  Stuff cavity with the herbs, garlic, and lemon slices.  You can tie up the legs of the bird with cooking twine if you have it.

4. Evenly coat the outside of the chicken with olive oil and stick some butter in the cavity.

6. Place chicken in the pan breast side up.  Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, using a spoon to baste the bird every 30 minutes with the juices in the pan.

8. Remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.  Discard the string and pour the juices from the pan over the sliced meat.