Earthy-Sweet Ginger Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Okay, so I just improvised this recipe this evening and I have to get it written down before I leave for class so I can make it again. Because DAYUM.
UPDATED: Hubby was rolling his eyes with happy. Served with crusty baguette, toasted and topped with herb goat cheese. Served wtih a Sauvignon Blanc; perfection.

INGREDIENTS
1 medium butternut squash
2 Tablespoons saffola oil
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms (or mushrooms of choice - chanterelles are awesome, too!)
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon thyme, divided in half
2 Cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoons honey
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heavy cream and/or additional chicken stock to get desired consistency.


DIRECTIONS
Pre-heat oven to 350

Peel and cube butternut squash (2" cubes or smaller). Line baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper. Spread squash cubes, pour over oil, add some salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Roast for 25 minutes until soft

Put butter in large pan and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and minced ginger to pan and sautee for 3-5 minutes until fragrant but not browning.

Slice mushrooms, discard stems. Add to pan with garlic and ginger, sprinkle with 1/2 Tablespoon of thyme and sautee until soft.

When squash is done roasting, sprinkle with remaining thyme. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside, trying to keep back any liquid in the pan. Add squash to pan along with honey and toss until honey melts. Add chicken stock and 3/4 of the mushrooms to squash, bringing all the flavors together.

Remove squash/stock/mushroom mixture from heat and let cool a bit. Add to food processor and puree.

**At this point, I am getting ready to leave for class. So here is where you store the soup until you are ready to heat and serve or continue on if you're ready now. 
IF SERVING IMMEDIATELY
Put remaining mushrooms in pan over medium-high heat and sautee with a little butter until browned and getting a little crispy.
Add more stock to food processor if looking for a thinner soup, or add cream if you want a thicker/creamier soup, and blend.

Put soup in bowls, top with crispy mushrooms and serve with crusty bread.

-OR-

IF HOLDING SOUP FOR LATER
Transfer soup to another bowl or container, put mushrooms into container, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, put mushrooms in pan over medium-high heat and sautee with a little butter until browned and getting a little crispy.
Add squash puree to pot and warm over medium heat. Add more stock if looking for a thinner soup, or add cream if you want a thicker/creamier soup, and blend carefully with immersion blender.

Put soup in bowls, top with crispy mushrooms and serve with crusty bread.

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