Sweet Butternut Soup with Thyme Crème Fraiche


3 ½ pounds butternut squash
Olive oil for brushing squash
4 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2 medium onions)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Thyme Crème Fraiche

½ cup crème fraiche
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush the cut edges lightly with oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast the squash until very soft, about an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, scoop the squash meat from the skin. Set the squash aside.

While the squash is roasting, caramelize the onions. Melt the butter with oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute slowly about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and uniformly golden brown. Set aside.

In a food processor, puree the squash, onions and 1 cup of the chicken stock until smooth. Transfer the puree to a large pot. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and heat the soup to a simmer, whisking a few times. Add the cream, chopped herbs and sherry vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a swirl of Thyme Crème Fraiche.

Thyme Crème Fraiche
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

On the Plate-- Ladle the hot soup into bowls. To make a nice swirl pattern, fill a clean squeeze bottle and swirl Thyme Crème Fraiche over each bowl of soup or use a spoon to add a dollop of the crème fraiche to each bowl.

Serves 6.