1 butternut squash (about 4 1/2 pounds, can substitute a sugar pumpkin)
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh sage leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Prepare Squash: Cut the pumpkin or squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place in a large, shallow roasting pan, cut side up. Divide the 3 tablespoons butter and brown sugar among the cavities. Sprinkle with rosemary and then with salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups of the broth around the squash and cover the pan with foil. Roast in the preheated oven, until the squash is soft, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Saute Vegetables: Meanwhile, in a large soup pot or stockpot, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add onions, carrots, garlic, and apple and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups stock, salt, pepper, cider, ginger, mace and bay leaf.
Scoop Squash Pulp: Remove squash from oven, cool slightly then scoop the pumpkin or squash pulp out of the skins and add to the stockpot.
Prepare garnish: Combine crème fraîche with salt. Set aside.
Puree: Process the soup mixture in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Strain into another soup pot and keep warm. When all the soup had been pureed, bring soup to a boil, and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Serve: Serve the soup in bowls, topped with a dollop of crème fraîche and sage.
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