by Diane Rossen Worthington

Roasted Butternut Squash-Sweet Potato Soup with Herbed Sour Cream Recipe
Roasted Butternut Squash-Sweet Potato Soup

I am partial to vegetable and potato soups when the weather turns cold. Winter squash and sweet potatoes are a complementary blend for a soup. Easy to put together and satisfying for your family or friends, this bright orange puree has lots of interesting flavor notes. The squash and sweet potatoes contribute a sweet essence. Roasting the vegetables brings out their inherent sweetness by lightly caramelizing them. (Once you roast these vegetables you may never cook them any other way.)

Fresh thyme and sage leaves add an herbal flavor layer that enhances the sweet potatoes and squash. The herbed sour cream adds a creamy note without adding lots of extra fat. Many soups call for cream in the base; this rendition gets its creamy texture from blending the vegetables and stock -- so you can enjoy it guilt-free. This is a stylish vegetarian soup option as well.

When shopping for sweet potatoes, it is important to select the moist, reddish brown-skinned sweet potatoes (often labeled yams), rather than the drier, yellowish-skinned sweet potatoes that are decidedly less sweet. Look for a ripe butternut squash and carefully peel it with either a sharp knife or a serrated peeler. Scoop out the seeds and cut it into small pieces. If you are strapped for time, pick up a 3/4 to 1 pound package of peeled and cut-up squash.

It's fun to serve this with a glass of Beaujolais Noveau.

Roasted Butternut Squash-Sweet Potato Soup with Herbed Sour Cream

Serves 6

Recipe Ingredients

2 pounds moist (reddish brown-skinned) sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, quartered

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and white pepper

1/2 cup sour cream

Recipe Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, squash, onion, 1 tablespoon each of the thyme and sage. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Spoon mixture onto a baking sheet with a lip, spreading the vegetables out to a single layer.

3. Roast vegetables about 35-40 minutes, stirring twice, until lightly caramelized.

4. Remove baking sheet from oven and place the vegetables in a large saucepan. Add the chicken stock and, using an immersion blender, process the soup until smooth. Make sure to keep the blender stick at the bottom of the pan while pureeing to avoid any splattering.

5. Add remaining 1 cup of stock, nutmeg, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning. (If you find the soup needs a bit more sweetness, add a pinch or two of brown sugar.)

6. In a small bowl, mix sour cream with remaining 1 teaspoon each of thyme and sage. Add salt and white pepper and taste for seasoning.

7. When ready to serve, heat soup to just simmering and ladle into warm bowls. Swirl a spoonful of herbed sour cream into each bowl and sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Advance Preparation: May be prepared up to one day ahead through step 6, covered and refrigerated. Reheat gently. This soup also freezes well. Adjust the seasonings when you reheat the frozen soup.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.

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Article: Copyright © Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.