This is more than a soup. This is a gourmet meal in a bowl, and a nice way to take advantage of seasonal produce. I made it on the weekend and we had leftovers for weekday lunches. My favourite touch was homemade croutons, made with potato-chive ciabatta bread cubes tossed in olive oil and Parmesan, then baked. B and I kept popping them in our mouth before we even got to the table. You may recall that some of these ingredients did double-duty with an earlier recipe, kale salad with roasted butternut squash. This recipe is my own and serves about 8.
To prepare squash and garlic:
Cut the top off one bulb of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Cut one butternut squash and one acorn squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds, then lay cut side down on a baking sheet along with the bulb of garlic. Roast at 300F for about 45-60 minutes (or until fork-soft).
To prepare accompaniments:
Follow the instructions here for the croutons.
While the squash is roasting, tear 8 slices of prosciutto into pieces and saute over medium heat in a large stockpot until crispy but still chewy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Using the same stockpot, add 1 tsp olive oil and saute 1/4 cup sage leaves until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon.
To prepare broth:
Peel and coarsely chop one large carrot, 2 stalks celery and one small onion. Using the same stockpot used to cook the sage and prosciutto, add another tablespoon of olive oil, then the chopped vegetables. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized. Add 1L vegetable broth, 1/4 cup apple cider, 2T cider vinegar, 1T cinnamon, and 1 tsp each of 1tsp nutmeg, allspice, cumin and paprika. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. As soon the squash is cooked, scoop out half the flesh from each and add to soup. Reserve other half for a different use.
Working in batches, scoop mixture into a blender and puree. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more squash flesh. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water or broth (or milk for a creamier taste). Season to taste.
Serve soup with croutons, prosciutto and sage, and a swirl of plain yogurt if desired.