This is another seasonal favorite of mine. The sweetness of the apples and brown sugar are offset by the slight tartness and acidity of the dried cherries, and the warming spices round the soup out very well! You can also serve this as a mashed potato style of dish by omitting some of the heavy cream or chicken stock.
Don’t be tempted to use frozen or pre-cooked squash for this recipe. Although cutting and roasting fresh butternut squash takes a little more time and effort, it’s certainly worth it and the flavor will prove that.
Yields 7 quarts
- Butternut Squash, halved lengthwise – 4 Each
- Olive Oil – As Needed
- Yellow Onion, sliced – 2 Each
- Butter – 6 oz.
- Olive Oil 2 T
- Honeycrisp Apples, rough chopped – 5 Each
- Dried Montmorency Cherries – ½ C.
- Brown Sugar – 2/3 C.
- Heavy Cream – 1 C.
- Ground Nutmeg – 1 t.
- Ground Ginger – ½ T
- Chicken Stock – 3 ¾ Qt.
- Salt – To taste
- Black Pepper – To taste
- Set oven to 350° F.
- Cut each squash in half lengthwise and place cut-side up on a roasting pan. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to very lightly coat the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place roasting pan in the oven and roast for 25 minutes.
- While roasting squash, heat your chicken stock to a low simmer.
- Using a 6 quart stock pot, turn heat to medium-low. Melt butter and add 2 T of olive oil. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and just staring to caramelize.
- After the squash timer goes off, flip squash over so the cut-side is down and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
- Add rough-chopped apples, dried cherries and brown sugar to the butter, oil and onion and stir to fully incorporate.
- When the apples begin to soften, add cream, nutmeg and ginger to the pot and stir to fully incorporate.
- Pull squash out of the oven and allow them to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out using a spoon and add to the pot.
- Add the warm chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes.
- Blend soup, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with Cherry Ambassador Mix or Sweet and Spicy Nut Mix and serve immediately.