Roasted butternut squash and chestnuts topped with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil make this creamy soup the perfect holiday appetizer.

Cream of Roasted Butternut Squash and Chestnuts [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups butternut squash
  • 2 cups chestnuts
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut in small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
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Preparation

  1. Soak chestnuts in water for two hours. Drain and make a shallow incision across one side of the nut using a sharp paring knife. The goal is to cut through the shell and the fuzzy papery layer avoiding to cut the flesh. Do not skip this step, it will allow steam to escape otherwise the chestnuts can explode in the oven.
  2. Bake at 480°F for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the chestnuts in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth for 20 minutes before peeling them. Allowing them to steam a bit will make them easier to peel.
  3. Saute onion in olive oil. Add vinegar and the bay leaf and let them caramelize in very low flame. Set aside and remove the bay leaf.
  4. Peel and cut the butternut squash in big chunks removing the seeds. Mix the chunks in a bowl with olive oil, unpeeled garlic cloves, rosemary sprigs, salt, and pepper. Spread in a baking tray and bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
  5. Place the roasted butternut squash in a high-speed blender together with 3/4 of the peeled chestnuts. Add 1 or 2 squeezed baked garlic cloves, caramelized onion and vegetable broth. Blend until you have a smooth, thick cream.
  6. Slice the remaining chestnuts.
  7. Serve the cream in bowls topped with sliced chestnuts. Garnish with freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
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