PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Rania Harris is making soups to warm you up this fall, and this one is deeply personal and a wonderful comfort food.
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 pounds butternut squash – peeled – seeded and cut into large chunks
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling the vegetables
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 pound parsnips (4 to 5 medium), peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 pounds leeks (3 medium), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and thoroughly washed and drained
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
- 2 Granny Smith apples (1 pound), peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
- 6 – 8 cups homemade or store bought chicken broth (more if needed)
- Generous pinch of ground ginger and nutmeg (optional)
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- Toasted pumpkin spiced pepitas for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle squash with olive oil and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Add apples to sheet pan with squash and continue roasting for another 15 minutes or until vegetables are easily pierced with a thin skewer or tip of a knife.
On another rimmed baking sheet, toss parsnips and leeks and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, and sprinkle evenly with thyme and chopped sage; spread in a single layer. Roast for 30 – 35 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, transfer 1/3 of the squash and apples to a blender with 1/3 of parsnips and leeks with 2 and ½ cups broth. Puree until smooth, adding more broth as needed if too thick. Pour through a sieve into a pot. Repeat process two more times with remaining vegetables, apples and broth. Add in ground ginger and nutmeg (to taste) if desired.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until fragrant and golden brown and dark-brown sediment particles form in bottom of pan, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir brown butter into soup; season with salt and pepper.
Rewarm soup over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and adding more broth, as necessary until it reaches desired consistency. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary
Serve soup topped with toasted pumpkin spiced pepitas.
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