Copyright Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved
Winter squash soup with Asiago sage crostini

For the soup
2 beautiful apples, halved
2 acorn squash, halved
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, diced
Canola oil, for brushing
House salt
Black peppercorns in a pepper mill
1/4 cup butter
1 large Vidalia onion, diced fine
6 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a rasp
5 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 teaspoons House salt
Black peppercorns in a pepper mill
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon honey

For the Asiago sage crostini
1 1/2 cups grated Asiago cheese
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Scant pinch House salt


For the soup
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and set oven rack to center position. Line a
rimmed baking sheet with a silpat mat. Brush a bit of oil on the cut side of the apples.
Place two apples on the left hand side of the baking sheet and two apples on the right
hand side of the baking sheet. Brush a bit of oil on the cut side of the acorn squash
and place the seed pod opening directly over each of the apples. Brush the skin side of
the acorn squash with some oil. Tumble the diced butternut squash into the center of
the pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and a big pinch of House salt and a few twists of
black pepper. Toss to incorporate. Roast the squash and apples until very soft, about 1
hour to 75 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add the butter, swirl to
coat, drop the temperature to medium low and heat until the foam from the butter
has subsided. Add the onion and a pinch of House salt, stir to gloss and cook, stirring
frequently until the onion has softened and has just begun to take on some color.
Add the garlic and stir to incorporate, cook until fragrant

Skin the apples and remove the flesh from the acorn squash. Add apple flesh, acorn
and butternut squash to the onion mixture and add the stock, thyme and sage. Bring
to the boil and reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

Puree with an immersion blender, in the jar of a blender, or in the bowl of a food
processor in batches as necessary. Return to the pot, if needed, over low heat

Swirl in the heavy cream and honey. Taste for seasonings

Serve in warmed soup bowls with Asiago sage crostini

For the Asiago sage crostini
Combine the cheese, sage, flour, mustard and salt together in a medium bowl.

Sprinkle liberally on prepared crostini and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375
degrees Fahrenheit until the cheese has melted and the crostini are very fragrant.
Remove from the oven and serve with Winter squash soup