Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Kickin’ Strawberry Sauce
Recipe by Chef Tom Fraker



Ingredients

1 – 2 lb. Butternut Squash, peeled; cubed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Melissa's Perfect Sweet Onion, chopped
2 cloves Melissa's Peeled Garlic, chopped
1- 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
4 tablespoons Dry Sherry
3 each Granny Smith Apples, peeled; diced
3 ½ cups Chicken Broth or Stock
3 tablespoons Melissa’s “DON ENRIQUE” Pico de Gallo Seasoning

For the sauce:
¾ cup Strawberry Preserves
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 Serrano Chile, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Directions

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

In a bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven until browned and fork tender, about 20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the tomatoes and sherry. Boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 7-8 minutes. Add the squash and the apples and stir in the chicken stock or broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer to heat and incorporate the flavors, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand mixer being careful not to splash, as the soup will be very hot. Puree until very smooth. If the soup is too thick, add chicken stock. Stir in the pico de gallo seasoning. Place in serving bowls and garnish with the sauce. Recipe for the sauce follows. Makes about 6 servings.

For the sauce:
Place all of the sauce ingredients, except for the butter, in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh screen.
Note: To make the heart shapes with the sauce, using a squirt bottle, carefully make circular drops. Using a skewer, drag the tip through the drops to create the hearts.