Butternut squash is both sweet and nutty—and also happens to be rich in Vitamins A and C. This particular riff on butternut squash soup–topped with with ricotta, Parmesan crisp, and sautéed shitake mushrooms–is mild enough for kids and special enough to serve to guests.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cube (about 3 lb. squash)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 organic chicken broth container (32. Oz. / 1 quart)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pieces fresh sage, whole
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (8 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shitake mushrooms, chopped and stemmed
2 tablespoons ricotta for topping
In a soup pot over medium heat, heat up the oil and add butternut squash, onions, garlic, and carrots and sauté for about 8 minutes.
Add chicken broth and soymilk. Season with nutmeg, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer soup for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are thoroughly cooked through and soft.
While soup is simmering, make Parmesan crisps. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Take 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and pat down tightly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make as many as you have cheese. (These are addictive, so make a few)
Bake crisps for about 6-8 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool and harden up, while finishing the soup.
Pour soup mixture into blender and blend to desired texture. Cover and set aside.
Heat skillet to medium heat, melt a pat of butter and sauté mushrooms until soft, about 4- 5 minutes. Add in a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground pepper.
Serve soup warm, topped with warm mushrooms, a dollop of ricotta cheese and a Parmesan crisp on the side.
Makes 4-6 servings
Photo: Alexandra DeFurio