Soup. It is the ultimate in comfort food when the weather turns crisp. The desire to dig into a steaming hot bowl of big flavors is undeniable.  When seasonal favorites are included in each and every bite, the payoff is even tastier! This Roasted Squash & Apple Soup is just the ticket to quench your soup cravings this Fall.

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roasted-squash-apple-soupHave you ever eaten at a restaurant and been so bowled over by a dish that you just HAD to make it yourself? Well, this soup came from a recent restaurant inspiration.

We were fortunate to vacation recently in Napa & Sonoma. Yeah, it didn’t suck. The scenery, the weather, the wine–all incredible.  You know what else didn’t suck? The food. It was smack-you-in-the-head good. No matter where we ate, we were continually presented with seasonal & local flavors that left us wanting more.

On one particularly gorgeous Fall-weather day (yay!), we headed over to Sonoma.  We spent the day wandering the square, gawking at the houses we can’t afford, and taking in the sights, sounds and tastes.

One of my favorite restaurants in town is The Girl & The Fig. This Sonoma staple is a must-eat-at destination whether you’re seated for a multi-course dinner with incredible wine pairings, or enjoying the outdoor patio for a hearty and delicious lunch. In this case, we enjoyed the latter.

the-girl-the-fig-menu
This inviting locale is known for local, sustainable, and rustic food with a French flare. I have had the pleasure of eating here for dinner during a past work trip, and have been itching to get back.  Lucky me! Lunch was a true treat.

From sandwiches like the Pressed Sandwich, which had house-made mortadella, comté, caramelized shallots, & whole grain mustard (yeah, it was incredible), to the daily specials like an intriguing apple, leek, potato & fig soup, we were certain to wind up with the perfect lunch. And it was.

girl-the-fig-pressed-sandwich

But let’s get back to that soup. When the waitress told us about it, the combination was so unusual that I just HAD to order it. Such an intriguing combination, and so comforting in its’ ingredients, I was eager to dive in.  Now, I admit that I enjoyed it so much that I forgot to take a picture.  Whoops.  But believe me when I tell you that it was so amazing that my mind started rolling with possible variations I could try.

At The Girl & The Fig, it is no surprise that the luscious fig makes a regular appearance in many dishes. When the soup was set down in front of us, we were confused–we couldn’t see the fig. But then we dipped our spoon in the big, steaming bowl of soup, and slowly stirred. Ah-ha!  There it was! Waiting on the bottom of the bowl, ready to be incorporated into each spoonful. Ah-mazing. The texture, the melding of flavors, the warmth of the soup–it was everything you want in a bowl of comfort.

I obviously didn’t have access to the original recipe, but knew I could create something with similar feel, taste and texture using seasonal ingredients found locally here in San Antonio.  And luckily, I was right.

And so was born this Roasted Squash & Apple Soup with Roasted Balsamic Fig Puree.

With seasonal ingredients, loving care, and a little inspiration, I think I have a winner on my hands. While it isn’t the exact replica of that glorious soup from our vacation, the deep flavors and luscious texture take me back with every bite.

What restaurant dish have YOU had that inspired you to create a recipe at home?

 

 

 

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Roasted-Squash-&-Apple-Soup
Roasted Squash & Apple Soup
Print Recipe
I love a thick and hearty soup during cooler months. This creation fits the bill perfectly with the rich notes of butternut squash, the tangy influence of apples, and the sweet and distinct flavor of roasted figs. Dig into Fall flavors with this warming and luscious soup.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Roasted-Squash-&-Apple-Soup
Roasted Squash & Apple Soup
Print Recipe
I love a thick and hearty soup during cooler months. This creation fits the bill perfectly with the rich notes of butternut squash, the tangy influence of apples, and the sweet and distinct flavor of roasted figs. Dig into Fall flavors with this warming and luscious soup.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Ingredients
Roasted Balsamic Fig Puree
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Peel & dice the squash, apple & potatoes into equal sized chunks. This will allow for even roasting.
    Fall-Bounty-for-Soup
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped vegetables on a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.
    Roasted-Squash-and-Apples
  3. Place pan in oven and roast vegetables for 45 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork.
    Roasted-Squash-and-Apples
  4. While the vegetables roast, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Saute the carrots, onion & celery until softened and the onions are translucent, about 15 minutes.
    Roasted-Squash-and-Apple-Soup-Veggie-Base
  5. Add the broth to the sauteed vegetable mixture. When the roasted vegetables come out of the oven, place those vegetables into the dutch oven with the broth. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, covered.
    roasted-squash-apple-soup
  6. As the soup cooks, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place figs, tops and bottoms sliced off, into a cooking-spray lined baking dish.
    Brown-Turkey-Figs-and-Balasmic
  7. Mix the honey & balsamic vinegar together. Drizzle evenly over the figs. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the figs are no longer firm.
    Brown-Turkey-Figs-and-Balasmic
  8. Place figs in a food processor. Add sugar, and puree until nearly smooth.
    Roasted-Fig-Puree
  9. Once the soup mixture is complete, puree using a stick blender until soup is desired consistency. Serve immediately topped with a dollop of fig puree.
    Roasted-Squash-&-Apple-Soup
Recipe Notes

Whoa.  I know this sounds like a lot of steps.  But as you're going through the different parts, remember that you're also multi-tasking.  As the primary vegetables roast, you can start on the base for the soup.  When the roasted veggies come out of the oven, the figs can go right in at the same temperature.  As the figs roast, you can puree the soup.

A stick blender really is the best and easiest tool for a pureed soup such as this.  Don't have one handy? Try this sturdy and reliable version from Cuisinart.  I keep it handy all Fall & Winter long when soups are regularly featured in my kitchen. Alternatively, you can use a regular blender; just puree the soup in batches, being careful to cover the top of the blender to prevent it from splashing or burning you.

And for those of you who have visited my recipes before, you may remember my deep and abiding love for my Martha Stewart Dutch oven. So versatile, I use it for recipes like this whenever I can.  This thing is a work horse in the kitchen, and is often on the stove with delectable recipes like this one bubbling away in it.

I promise that each step will make you salivate as your kitchen fills with the hearty flavors of Fall.  You'll be ready to dive into this Roasted Squash & Apple Soup the minute the blender stops.

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