It's been such a typical Spring here in Chicagoland, I thought I'd create a new soup using some of my favorite ingredients. The soup reminds me of Fall, just like our crazy weather, perfect for a cold and rainy day like today. If you belong to Costco, they sell butternut squash already peeled and cubed in the produce section. That is the amount I used in this recipe. It measured out at 8 cups.
8 cups of cubed butternut squash
2 large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 3 pieces
1 large sweet potato, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno, cut in half, seeds discarded
3 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled and wrapped in foil - drizzle with olive oil before wrapping
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried sage
Salt and Pepper
2 apples of your choice, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup almond milk
Preheat the oven to 400º. Combine the first 10 (stop at apples) ingredients and place on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, sage and salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place the foil wrapped garlic cloves on the pan and place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through, turning the vegetables halfway through the cooking process. Take a knife and test that it comes out easily when piercing the squash and sweet potato.
While the vegetables are roasting, take a 8 qt. stock pot and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Add about one Tbsp. of clarified butter, if you don't have you can just use olive oil and a pat of butter. Toss in the apples and cinnamon and saute until soft. When the vegetables are done, unwrap the garlic and push them out of their skins, add them and all vegetables to the pot with the apples and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock to the pot. Using a stick blender, puree the vegetables. If you don't have a stick blender, you can remove the mixture to a blender and puree in batches. Once blended, place back in the pot and add the almond milk, stir to combine and heat. If you like your soup thinner, add more stock or almond milk. For those of you with an almond allergy, try it with coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Enjoy!