Maple Butternut Squash and Sage Soup
There is something beautiful about early mornings in the days that creep between fall and winter. The air snaps and the sun has to fight harder than ever to be noticed, especially between dawn and early morning rush hour. These are the days when I take solace in the warm and luxurious meals that we get lost in. Saturday morning outside running the errands that never seem to end while my mind is elsewhere thinking about a bowl of soup that I'll be able to sit down and enjoy with my wife in a few short hours. This is my ode to Autumn.
My love of food is deep and it stems from and was fostered by the different seasons and the different produce that's available for a few short months each year. Every couple of months a new vegetable hits the market and I instantly fall in love all over again. A few months to play with it, create with it and be awed by it and than it's gone. Vanished. All too soon.
Right now and at every market I visit I see squash nestled in a row just waiting to be picked up. It has the versatility to be enjoyed whether it's roasted, pureed or steamed. Each method provokes equally delicious results. This time around I used the deep orange flesh of butternut squash to make a soup so rich and exquisite that my wife insists it could dinner all by itself. This was the perfect way to celebrate autumn in the middle of a perfect mid-November day.
I remembered a Bon Appetit article I read a few years ago about the pairing of squash and sage and their harmonious affair in a bowl of soup. Both complementing each other so perfectly that they are easily recognized on your palate the first time it hits your mouth. I adapted that recipe today and included the sweet flavour of maple syrup for some Canadian flair.
The combination of the subtle yet rich aroma and smooth body with the crunch from the crisp sage and crumb mixture for the garnish played perfectly together. The result was a sweet, savoury soup that was bursting with flavour intensity. From the first spoonful to the last it was arguably the most luxurious soup we've ever tasted and yet it's so easy to make that it's an excellent fall lunch option. The perfect tribute to autumn.
*Note: This picture made FoodGawker.com!