Roasted Squash, Apple & Fennel Soup
Featuring: Sunflower Juice Works Sparkling Apple Cider
1 small butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 bulb of fennel, fronds removed and reserved, cored, and cut into ½-inch thick slices
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups Sunflower Juice Works Sparkling Apple Cider
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup 35%MF cream
Fried sage leaves and roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
• Preheat oven to 450ºF.
• Toss squash with 2 tbsp oil, season with salt and pepper, then place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until golden and fork-tender, about 20 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside to cool.
• Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, add sliced fennel and cook until slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, thyme and cumin and cook for 2 minutes more, then stir in cider, chicken stock and reserved roasted squash, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
• Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Top soup with fried sage leaves, roasted pumpkin seeds and reserved fennel fronds and serve immediately.