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Butternut Squash Soup with Shiitake Walnut Compote

Get cooking with Emily's Butternut Squash Soup.  It's a delicious, feel-good dish that's guaranteed to warm your heart.

6-8 Servings


1 large butternut squash peeled and chopped
Seeds reserved, rinsed and soaked in salt water
2-3 sweet apples, (such as Gala or Fuji) peeled and chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 to 4 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Spray oil

Compote Garnish Ingredients:

½ cup walnuts, crushed
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoon honey
½ pound Shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons good orange or chili oil


1. In a small pot heat walnuts, cranberries, orange juice, and honey on high until boiling.  Reduce heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Turn heat off and reserve for garnish.

2. Peel the squash, halve, and remove the seeds (reserve in 1 cup water with 4 tablespoons salt). Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.

3. Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, stock, honey, paprika, and chili powder into a large pot or pressure cooker. In pot bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft.  In pressure cooker, bring to full pressure, reduce to medium and cook for 20 minutes.

4. While soup is cooking drain reserved squash seeds and add to a lightly spray-oiled cookie sheet.  Roast on middle rack at 400°F for 15 minutes or until toasted.

5. In a medium sauté pan lightly sprayed with oil sauté mushrooms on medium heat until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Add walnut mixture to mushrooms and cook until warmed through.  Add toasted pumpkin seeds.

6. Remove soup from heat and process the soup through a food mill fitted with a large blade, or puree in blender.

7. Pour the soup back into the pot. Add cream to soup adjusting the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Adjust salt and pepper and seasoning, garnish with mushroom walnut mixture, drizzle a ½ teaspoon of chili oil or orange oil over soup and serve hot.