I have to say…I picked a bad weather week here in Atlanta for Soup Week. This time last week, when I was dreaming up 5 straight days of soup recipes, it was so chilly I didn't have a coat heavy enough to wear. As I type this entry, its in the mid-60's and people in town are running around in short sleeves. I am beginning to think I could have included a cold soup recipe in the week's festivities! I just hope that someone SOMEWHERE is able to take the chill off with the recipes I'm posting this week.
This is one of the heartiest soups I've made in a long time. Despite the thinness of being a broth soup, the oomph of the roasted butternut squash adds lots of depth to this recipe. Add that to the rich flavor of the broth (I used a roasted vegetable stock) and the risotto rice…and this soup can definitely be a meal in itself. The creamy goat cheese melts into the hot soup and takes it to a whole 'nother level. Don't skimp on the seasonings and the salt – I found that the rice, as it was cooking, took in a lot of the seasonings I was adding. Taste it as you go.
Risotto Soup with Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese – serves 4
– Preheat oven to 400. In a medium roasting pan, toss the cubed butternut squash with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender and slightly caramelized – about 30 minutes. This time will vary depending on your oven.
– In the meantime, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender (but not brown!), which should be around 5-6 minutes. Add the rice and heat for an additional 2-3 minutes. The rice will start to become slightly opaque. Add the wine and allow the rice to mostly soak up the liquid, another 3 minutes or so. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer until the rice is tender – about 20 minutes. Add in the chopped sage and salt & pepper to taste.
– To serve, stir in roasted butternut squash. Ladle into bowls and top with crumbled goat cheese and the extra sage leaves for garnish. Serve immediately.