This butternut squash soup shimmers with a bit of pear cider, a taste of sage, and the depth of roasted vegetables. It works any day of the fall you feel like eating it, but it might be an especially nice starter for the Thanksgiving meal.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Pear Cider
1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded, and chopped
5 stalks celery, rough chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, peeled and rough chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
8 large leaves sage
1 Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup olive oil
3-4 scrapes of fresh nutmeg
1 cup pear cider (apple is fine too)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Preparing to cook. Heat the oven to 500 degrees.
Put the butternut squash, celery, carrots, onions, garlic, sage, and pear into a large bowl. Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and fruit and toss them together well. Pour them onto a baking sheet.
Roasting the vegetables. Put the baking sheet into the hot oven. Roast the vegetables until they are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. (You should be able to put a fork right through them.) Take the baking sheet out of the oven.
Blending the soup. Pour 1/3 of the roasted vegetables into a blender, with 1/3 of the chicken stock. Blend until smooth. Add 1/3 of the oil. Puree until really smooth. Pour that soup into a large bowl and repeat with the remaining vegetables, stock, and oil.
Finishing the soup. Strain the soup through a chinois or fine-mesh sieve. Return the soup to the pot. Add the cider. Season the soup with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and taste. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.