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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. 

Serves 4 

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