Roasted butternut squash, fennel, garlic, lime, smoked paprika and apple are the main players in this soup. A silky smooth concoction, topped with nutty toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh apple salsa for extra crunch, this is a playful sweet and tart soup that feels like a warm Autumn hug. The best part is it comes together in two simple steps: roast all the veggies, then blend with water, lime, and spices.
The holidays are closing in, with Thanksgiving in the U.S. next week. Whether you're gathering then or later this year, this soup makes a fabulous starter for a holiday meal. I especially like it because the flavor combination is not what you'd typically find in a holiday meal, so it offers some unexpected (but hopefully welcome!) freshness and variety. Hope you save a space for this soup on this year's holiday menu!
Butternut Squash Blender Soup with Apple Salsa
Serves 4-5 (as a first course or appetizer)
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into bite-size pieces (820 gr., weighed chopped)
- 1 medium fennel, cored and roughly chopped
- 3 large cloves of garlic (keep skin on)
- 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 2 cups (480 ml) water, recently boiled
- Juice from 3/4 lime
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp. salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Toppers: toasted pumpkin seeds, apple salsa (recipe below)
- 1 medium green apple
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (add cayenne or chipotle chili powder if you want spice)
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- A few pinches of salt
- Preheat oven to 225C/440F.
- Place chopped butternut squash, fennel and garlic cloves on large baking tray. Toss with coconut oil and a few generous pinches of salt and black pepper; spread out evenly across the tray so they roast rather than steam. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender and browned and caramelized around the edges.
- In the meantime make the apple salsa. Slice cheeks off apple, slice each cheek in half lengthwise so you have two slabs. Stack the two slabs and make thin slices across to get matchsticks. Halve matchsticks if you want them shorter (as shown in photos). Mix with smoked paprika, lime, and salt. Set aside.
- Transfer cooked vegetables to a standing blender. Add water, lime, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water if you prefer a thinner consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and apple salsa. Note, soup thickens once refrigerated. Add water when reheating to thin.