This past week we received our first winter share from the our CSA (community supported agriculture). Our share was 30 pounds of a combination of butternut squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, beets and cabbage. So where to store (don’t have a root cellar) and what to make with them! Of course there had to be a soup made and probably more than one. I really wanted to use one of the butternut squash – so that would be the main ingredient for the soup. I wanted this soup a little more than the basic pureed squash soup and remembering how much I loved the crispy almonds – I wanted to incorporate that! Here is what I came up with.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Crispy Almond Soup
3/4 cup Crispy Almonds
1 Onion, diced
2 – 3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cinnamon stick
2 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups or 1 can coconut milk
Butter, olive oil and/or coconut oil
1. You will need to make some crispy almonds if you do not have any on hand, which I did not. I made more than I would need for this recipe – because they are wonderful to have on hand. In a large glass bowl pour 3 – 4 cups of organic almonds ( could not find any skinless), sprinkle about 1 Tbl sea salt over the nuts and cover with filtered water – stir, cover and soak for about 7 hours or overnight. In the morning drain the almonds and dehydrate them – I used a dehydrator set at 145 degrees, but you could also use an oven – keep the temperature under 150 degrees. You want to make sure the nuts are dry all the way through – which could take between 12 – 24 hours.
2. Peel, de-seed and cube the butternut squash. Place is a glass roasting pan and toss with some olive or coconut oil and roast at 375 degrees until tender, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. I stir and check every 20 minutes.
3. While the squash is roasting in a food processor place 3/4 cup of the crispy nuts and pulse until a flour/meal is formed – you want 1 cup of crispy almond flour/meal for the soup and extra for garnish – set aside.
4. In a stock pot, melt a 2 Tbl of butter and add the onions, saute until caramelized.
5. Add the garlic to the onions and saute for about a minute.
6. Add the broth, scraping any onion off the bottom, add the cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer – simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes.
7. Add the squash and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes – you want all the flavors to mesh together.
8. Take the pot off the stove and spoon out the cinnamon stick.
9. Add the almond meal and coconut milk and using an immersion blender – puree. You can also puree, in batches, in your blender.
10. Put the pot back on the stove and simmer until ready to serve.
Use the almond meal or you can chopped up some crispy almonds and use as a garnish on the soup. Delicious!! Stella gave it 2 thumbs up!