Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

Caramelized red apples add a sweet note to classic butternut squash soup. Thin slices of prosciutto—an air-dried, salt-cured ham from Italy—are baked until crispy and used as a savory garnish. They provide a pleasing textural contrast to the velvety soup, while lending just the right amount of saltiness and savor. Paired perfectly with the Papapietro Perry Leras Family Vineyards Pinot Noir - this is that fall soup you been yearning for!

Makes 6 cups 4-6 servings

1 3 lb. butternut squash, cut in half longways, seeds removed
1 red skinned apple, halved, seeds removed
1 T. olive oil
6 thin slices prosciutto
2 T butter
1 c. yellow onion, diced
1 T. garlic, minced
3-4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
2 T maple syrup
½ t. ground nutmeg
2 t. salt (or to taste)
1 t. fresh ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450⁰.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Oil the inside of the squash and apple halves. Salt and pepper and place cut side down on sheet pan. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until soft. Let cool. Turn oven down to 375⁰.

On another foil lined baking sheet spray with oil and place the prosciutto slices down without touching each other. Place in the 375⁰ oven and cook for 15 minutes, rotating tray halfway through. Remove and carefully place prosciutto on a paper towel lined platter. It will crisp up as it cools.

Meanwhile melt butter in a large pot, add onions and cook, stirring until soft 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 3 cups of stock. Scoop out squash with a spoon and place in pot along with apple halves. Discard squash skin. If squash has browned a little while in the oven, it gives more depth. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Let cool, and transfer in batches to a blender. Puree until smooth. Add maple syrup, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

May be made a day ahead. Reheat, adjust seasoning, and add more stock if too thick. Crumble prosciutto and sprinkle on top. Serve with the Papapietro Perry Leras Family Vineyards Pinot Noir.


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