I’m a huge fan of butternut squash soup, but then again, I’m a big fan of butter in general. It's perfect when the weather starts to cool down in the fall or in the middle of winter too. I would love to enjoy it year round but then again I wouldn’t get as excited when colder weather rolls around and it’s butternut squash soup time! Make a big pot of this and enjoy between football games.

Ingredients:

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2 lbs. Butternut squash cut into 1.5” cubes (or two packages of peeled and cut squash)
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon mace
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 box chicken stock
extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
pepper
½ cup half and half

How to put it together:

Coat squash thoroughly with olive oil then season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place on an oiled cookie sheet and roast at 350 degrees for about 45 min or until caramelized and cooked through. Let cool and then puree in food processor.

Sauté sage and thyme in 3/4 stick butter until the butter is a medium brown. Add to food processor puree and blend.

Sauté shallots in 1/4 stick butter + 1tbl. olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté till garlic is golden then deglaze with the Grand Marnier. Add to puree along with maple syrup and blend.

Simmer soup for about 40 minutes over low heat. Adjust seasoning to taste and add more maple syrup or Grand Marnier to taste if needed. When done adjusting seasoning add half and half and remove from heat