Ease into fall with this chipotle-cheddar butternut squash and leek soup.
The world around me seems ready for the cold weather, what about you? It is already pumpkin spice everything! I seem to be a lagger – the cold, crisp mornings are surprising still to me. The falling and brown leaves seem almost out of place. That is the thing about the changing of seasons, though. Time moves along with or without you.
The one thing I am SO on board with is fall produce. I have dipped my taste buds in ever so slightly thus far. This chipotle-cheddar butternut squash and leek soup is my boldest move yet! 😋
For this soup I opted for roasting the veg. It adds depth and caramel notes. The caramelization works well with the chipotles in adobo. Cheddar cheese is a natural companion. A bit of maple syrup rounds everything out and makes the sweetness of the butternut squash really sing. The final touch? chives! Do not skip them – they add freshness and a sharper onion flavor that compliments the leek. And of course, top with more cheddar cheese to up the comfort factor!
Chipotle-Cheddar Butternut Squash and Leek Soup
Servings: makes 8 cups
Time: about an hour to roast veg, 20 min to make soup
- 1 butternut squash, about 2 lbs.
- 2 leeks
- 4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese shredded for the soup, plus more for topping
- 1.5 tbsp. of maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. of chipotles in adobo
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 4 cups of veggie broth (32 ounces)
- chives for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Halve the butternut squash, scrape out the seeds and pulp. Pour about a tsp. of oil on each half and rub all over. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up.
- As the butternut squash will take the longest to roast, place it in the oven first and roast for about 30-40 minutes, until beginning to soften and caramelize.
- While squash is roasting, prepare the leeks. Remove dark green parts and rinse. Halve the leeks, keeping each half together (do not fan out, roast them as in tact halves). Rinse again, lifting the leaves to get out all the dirt stuck inside.
- The leeks will take about 20 minutes to caramelize and roast in the oven. When you think the butternut is about 20 minutes out, add the leeks to the pan. Top with some oil, and roast for 20 min, or until soft and browning.
- Pull the veg from the oven. Scoop the flesh of the butternut off the skin (be careful it is hot! Wait until it is cool enough to handle) and add to a medium sized sauce pan with the leeks.
- Pour in 4 cups of veggie broth, add the chipotle peppers in adobo, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook over low for 15 minutes.
- Add maple syrup.
- Blend until smooth using an immersion (hand) blender or regular blender. If using a regular blender, add soup back to pan before proceeding to step 11.
- Add 4 ounces of shredded cheddar and stir until melted.
- Taste and adjust for seasoning. Add a good pinch of salt. Add more maple if you want it sweeter, and add more chipotle if you want it spicier.
- Soup tastes the best the next day, which allows the flavors to develop fully. The next day taste and adjust seasoning again. To serve, warm soup over medium until heated to your liking. Pour into bowls and top with more shredded cheddar and a tablespoon or two of chopped chives.
- If you are very spice-averse, reduce the chipotle to 1/2 a tbsp.
- Use the sharpest cheddar you like to really bring out the flavor of the cheese.