Decadently Delicious Smoked Butternut Squash Soup

Rich and creamy with a delicate kiss of smoke, grill roasted butternut squash soup is a wonderful way to kick off any fall or winter meal.

The soup begins by slow roasting halved butternut squash on the grill along with a touch of butter and fresh sage. Once fork tender, the flesh is blended along with vegetable broth, heavy cream, and a touch of maple syrup then served warm with a garnish of sour cream and toasted pepitas (the small seed found within the shell of pumpkin seeds) or whole pumpkin seeds.

Given the richness of the dish, one medium sized butternut squash (approximately 1 1/2 pounds) is a perfect portion for four people.

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Smoked Butternut Squash Soup

Grill roasting takes butternut squash to a new level, creating a rich and smoky starter for your holiday meal.

Makes. 4 servings

Takes. 10 minutes to prepare and 1 1/2 hours to cook

Serve with. Pinot Noir.

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, approximately 1 1/2 pounds

2 large sage leaves

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Sour cream for serving (optional)

Toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds for serving (optional)

Method

1) Prep. Cut the butternut squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds.

2) Fire up. Prepare a grill for 2-zone cooking. On a charcoal grill, place a chimney full of lit charcoal briquets to one side of the grill's charcoal grate in order to create direct and an indirect cooking zones. You want one side scorching hot and the other side at about 325°F. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is as hot as possible and the other half is approximately 325°F. Add a wood chip filled smoker box or smoking pouch to the gas grill according to manufacturer’s instructions for flavor.

3) Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the cool side of the grill, and place the two halves of butternut squash cut side up on the foil. The foil will help keep the squash from sticking to the grill as it roasts.

4) Add one tablespoon butter and a sage leaf to each half’s seed cavity.

5) Cook. Cover the grill and allow the butternut squash to roast until the flesh is fork tender, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

6) Blend the soup. Carefully remove the butternut squash halves from the grill, making sure not to spill the butter from the cavity.

7) Pour the liquid and sage leaves from the cavities into a blender or food processor. Scoop the flesh from the skin and add to the blender or food processor along with the vegetable broth, heavy cream, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

8) Serve. Divide the smoked butternut squash soup between 4 bowls. Top with sour cream and pepitas or pumpkin seeds (if using). Serve immediately.

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