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Butternut Squash Soup or Bisque (Roasting Method)

1 small butternut squash, peeled, diced (about 5 C.)
1 medium onion, large dice (1 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 apple, skinned, large dice (1 cup)
48 ounces chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons parsley, fresh, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, fresh, chopped
crouton (optional)
sour cream (optional)


ROASTING: preheat oven to 450. Peel and dice squash into 1/2 inch pieces (see tip at end). Dice onion into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss squash and onion with olive oil and spread pieces onto a large flat baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes - add diced apple - and continue roasting another 10-20 minutes (30-40 total roasting time). Tip: while you are roasting, make some "cheese toasts". Put some shredded cheese on top of bread rounds (we like gruyere or parmesan). Bake 10-15 minutes until crispy. These cheese toasts are fantastic soup toppers! Place roasted mixture into blender with about half the chicken broth; puree (keep hand on lid because hot liquids can cause the top to "explode" off with built up steam). Add remaining chicken broth, half-and-half, and herbs; puree. Transfer mixture to saucepan; reheat gently. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and croutons. TIP: to prepare squash, first cut squash in half horizontally. Place flat end onto cutting board to stabilize squash and use a peeler to remove skin. Remove seeds. Then cut into lengths, and then into diced pieces. NOTE: if you have leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving, add about 1/2 cup, which will thicken the soup and add a nice smoothness.

Source: www.food.com