For the butternut squash soup: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the squash in half and take out the seeds. Place on a sheet pan skin-side up and roast until soft, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool.
Combine the milk, cream, juice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and some salt in a large pot over high heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
Scoop the pulp out of the squash and add it to the liquid. Stir well, bring back to a simmer and then turn off. In small batches, add the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, or use an immersion blender and blend fully.
For the vanilla oil: Split the vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a paring knife and reserve.
Place the vanilla pods and beans in a small saucepan with the oil. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Strain before serving.
For the pickled cranberries: Place the cranberries in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cranberry juice and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the liquid over the cranberries and cool to room temperature.
Garnish each serving of soup with 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla oil and a 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cranberries.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Rick Laughlin, Chef de Cuisine, Salt Restaurant, The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, FL