Would it even be Fall if I didn’t give you a new soup recipe? Of course, it would, but I felt you needed another delicious and creamy soup to keep in your back pocket for when you’re feeling extra seasonal. I don’t like to toot my own horn but “TOOT -TOOT”! This recipe is SO GOOD! I’m not going to lie, it’s going to cost you a bit of clean up, but I promise the results are worth it! Velvety soup, warm and earthy aromas, and a crunchy, sweet topping…ummm, YES, PLEASE! A company worthy dish, sure to impress even your toughest critics! Your guests will love this one so much that they’ll feel obligated to clean the mess up afterwards.
I promise not to tell them just how easy it was to make, that can be our little secret!
*If doubling the recipe, use 2 baking trays to prevent over crowding of the roasted vegetables.
For the Soup
For the Brittle
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, add the butternut squash, onion, fennel, garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until the vegetables are nicely coated. Evenly spread the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and toss to make sure everything is cooking evenly. Place the tray back into the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
Remove the baking tray from the oven, pick out the three garlic cloves and set them aside. Carefully scrape the rest of the vegetable mixture into a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the sherry, bay leaf and squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the pot, discarding the skin. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sherry cooks down a bit, then add the chicken stock. Continue to simmer for another 10 -15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, make the brittle.
In a small pan over medium low heat, add the pistachios, butter and cinnamon. Shimmy the pan around until the mixture becomes fragrant, this should only take a few minutes. Pour in the maple syrup and keep shimmying the pan as it bubbles for 1 minute. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper and give it one more shimmy. Pour the brittle onto a plate or small tray and use a rubber spatula to evenly spread out the mixture. Set aside to cool.
Remove the bay leaf from the pot and discard. (DON'T FORGET THIS STEP!! THE BAY LEAF WILL RUIN YOUR SOUP IF IT ENDS UP IN THE BLENDER!!) Carefully ladle the hot soup mixture into a blender...did you take out the bay leaf...do it now! Puree the soup until smooth (leave the vent of the blender off to allow steam to escape but place a clean dish towel over the opening to prevent splatter). Pour the soup back into the pot, you can turn the heat off at this point or set it to the lowest setting to keep warm. Stir in the Crème Fraiche, reserving a few tablespoons for serving.
Once the Brittle has cooled and hardened, break it apart with your hands.
Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in a spoonful of the reserved Crème Fraiche and a sprinkle of the pistachio brittle, serve immediately and enjoy!