Butternut Squash really comes to life when roasted. This soup takes advantage of that fact and takes it one step further with the addition of nutty wild rice and sweet apples.
- 1 butternut squash 1 ½ to 2 pounds
- 4 tablespoon whole almonds
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 large turnip, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 sprigs thyme
- ½ cup wild rice
- 2 apples, cored and chopped into rough ½ inch dice
- 2 scallions, finely sliced (green parts only)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a baking sheet; toast until fragrant, shaking the pan once or twice, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
Raise the heat in the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and strings. Place cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Once the oven has pre-heated place the squash on the center rack and roast until soft and fragrant about 30–40 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Remove from oven and let cool almost completely before proceeding.
Scoop the flesh from the squash placing it in a bowl and set aside. Discard skins.
Using a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved squash, turnips, parsnips, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and some pepper; cook stirring until the vegetables are well coated.
Add about 3 ½ cups of the vegetable broth to the pot along with the thyme; bring this to a boil, the lower the heat to a simmer. Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 30 minutes.
Fill a small sauce pan with water, add ½ teaspoon of salt and the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool some. Using an immersion blender process the soup until smooth and creamy adjust texture with the remaining stock as necessary. Return the soup to a medium heat and allow it to re-heat.
Melt the remainy 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan . Add the apple and cook with out disturbing until slightly browned and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the scallion slices, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Cook an additional minute gently stirring the mixture together.
Add the cooked rice to the pot and mix it in well and is heated through.
Ladle the soup into individual soup bowls, and garnish with the apples, scallions and almonds. Serve warm.