This recipe is inspired by the winter squash soup in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.
I would have made this soup entirely with kabocha squash, and that is what I would advise you to do, but the one I purchased had way less innards than it seemed to have when I got it. In the interests of journalistic transparency, I am including the butternut squash that I actually used as part of the total squash. (See previous post.)
A large kabocha squash, (no need to peel it - the kabocha skin will be soft enough to go in the soup, but the butternut skin is very tough.)
Half a medium sized butternut squash – peeled and cut into inch cubes, (about 4 cups total squash after roasting,)
6 cloves garlic sliced,
Olive oil, about ¼ cup,
A small bunch of sage leaves,
A large white or yellow onion, chopped,
A cup of chopped celery,
3 medium carrots chopped,
6 cups vegetable broth,
About 12 grinds of pepper,
Salt if needed
About a teaspoon fresh thyme
¼ cup parsley,
¼ cup candied pepitas*
some feta cheese, crumpled.
Cut the kabocha in half, remove the seeds and fibers, and brush the halves of the kabocha and the chunks of butternut with olive oil. (I cut the butternut into cubic inch chunks, as it was thicker, tougher, and would take more time to cook.) Put the garlic cloves in the kabocha halves, turn them onto a cookie sheet, cut side down. Roast at 375° for about half an hour, until tender..
Meanwhile, in a small pan, fry the sage leaves for about a minute, until they are dark. Remove the leaves from the oil, and set them aside on a paper towel.
In your soup pot, using sage leaf oil, sauté the onion until translucent, add the celery and carrot for a few turns. When the squash is ready, add it to the vegetables, and give a few more turns. Add the broth, the thyme, the pepper, and salt if needed. Simmer for about twenty minutes, or until all the vegetables are softened. Moosh it up with your immersion blender until mostly smooth, but with a few chunks remaining to give a more interesting texture. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Garnish with sage leaves, and pass around the pepitas and feta cheese in separate bowls for a further individual garnish.
¼ cup pepitas
2 tablespoons (or more) sugar
Put the pepitas and the sugar in a small frying pan, and stir constantly over high heat until the sugar melts and the pipitas are coated. Add more sugar if necessary. That is all there is to it.