This velvety soup, makes an outstanding first course and it’s easy to make. All the veggies are roasted together, bringing out their natural sweetness. I mean, how can you go wrong with roasted garlic? Try and find local garlic, instead of using the imported Asian garlic. You will be surprised at the difference! The soup can be made the day before, covered and chilled. Reheat before serving. I think it would be a nice way to start a roast chicken dinner (see below)
Makes 4 – 6 Servings
1 head of garlic, unpeeled
2 lbs. butternut squash or other orange-flesh winter squash, unpeeled, seeds removed & cut into 8 pieces
1 large onion, unpeeled, cut vertically in ½
2 Tbsp. EVO
8 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 tsp. dried, crumbled
½ cup heavy cream/whipping cream
1 ¾ to 2 cups chicken stock (see below) or low salt chicken broth
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Minced fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cut 1/3” off top of the head of garlic, exposing cloves. Arrange the garlic,, squash and onion, cut side up in a large baking dish. Drizzle veggies with EVO. Scatter thyme over top. Cover tightly with foil and bake until squash is tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 1 ½ hours. Uncover vegetables, let cool 15 minutes.
Scrape squash from skin into a food processor work bowl. Peel outer layers and trim root end from onions; add to processor. Separate 9 garlic cloves from the head of garlic; peel, add to processor (you can usually just squeeze out the garlic from the skin). Add any juices from the bottom of the roasting dish. Add the cream and puree until almost smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Taste, adding more garlic if you would like a more pronounced garlic flavour.
Transfer puree to a heavy, large pot. Whisk in 1 ¾ cups of stock. Stir over medium heat until heated through, adding more broth if you would like a thinner consistency. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Ladle soup into warmed soup bowls and garnish with minced parsley.