Roasting vegetables before adding them to broth or stock for soup is my favorite soup-making method these days. It’s an extra step, but the roasting intensifies the flavors of the vegetables and gives the soup a deeper, richer taste and texture. You can use most any squash here, as well as other roots, such as turnips or celeriac, or a combination of squash and/or roots. If you roast up a lot of vegetables, you’ll have to increase the liquid for the soup, or you’ll have more of a soupy stew, which is not a bad thing in itself.

3 c (peeled), seeded, and chopped butternut squash
1 large onion, quartered
2 large apples, (peeled), cored, and quartered
4 – 5 rashers bacon, chopped; optional
4 – 5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 – 3 T vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 T fresh, chopped herb, or 1 t dried herb; plus extra fresh herb for garnish, if you like
1/2 c white wine, broth or stock, or water
6 – 8 c broth or stock

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the squash, onion, apples, bacon, and garlic on a large, rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat with the oil. Add some salt and pepper, and if using dried herb, that too. Roast, stirring a few times, about 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the bacon is crisp. The roasting time will depend on the size of the vegetable pieces.

2. Remove from the oven. Pour in the white wine. Scrape up any pieces that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a soup pot or Dutch oven.

3. Add the broth and fresh herb and bring to a simmer. Simmer about half an hour longer, until the squash and apples are falling apart. You can mash the vegetables up with a wooden spoon or potato masher to get a thicker soup. Taste for seasonings. Serve, garnished with additional fresh, chopped herb.