This week I received a lovely butternut squash in our bountiful basket. I have some sage ready to be picked before a hard freeze, and some onions just harvested this month. All of that speaks soup to me. Seriously, what is more in keeping with the Autumn season than a pot of soup simmering on the stove, filled with the bounty of a Fall harvest ….?
Note: We are going to use the fresh sage in two different ways. First, we will add fresh minced sage to the soup, and second, we will garnish the soup with oven fried/sea salted sage leaves on top.
You will need ….
4 cups pureed butternut squash
1 Tablespoon olive oil – ½ for oiling a roasting pan and ½ for sautéing the onions
24 – 30 fresh sage leaves (for oven frying)
Course ground sea salt ( for sprinkling on the oven fried sage leaves )
2 Tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
1 cup diced onion
½ cup diced red bell pepper
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (jarred)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
¼ cup dry red wine
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
A few Tablespoons of sour cream for garnish if desired.
First, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Then, slice your squash into pieces small enough to fit into an oiled baking dish. Next, to the squash filled baking dish add 2 Tablespoons of water, cover with foil and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, more or less until the squash has cooked to a softness ready to puree.
When cool enough, cut the squash away from the skin and puree. I am using an emersion blender, but there are many other ways to do this. Set puree aside.
Then, to a large cooking pot add half a Tablespoon of oil and then top it with the diced onions and bell pepper. Sauté them over medium-high heat until soft and golden, about 5-7 minutes.
Then, add the 2 Tbsp. minced sage, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Then, deglaze with the dry red wine.
Next, stir in the broth and squash puree. Simmer soup until slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, spray a small baking sheet with olive oil. Then arrange your whole sage leaves across the pan. Sprinkle the leaves with course grated sea salt. Then spray them with olive oil. Place in a 350 degrees F. oven and bake until they just start getting a little brown around the edges. Then, remove immediately, and set aside.
When the soup is your desired consistency, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a small dollop of sour cream and several crispy sage leaves. Crack fresh pepper over each bowl as desired.