Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Cheese Crostini
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 to 8 cups)
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 cup (2 ounces) grated fontina cheese
- Kosher salt
Soup: In a 8-quart stockpot, melt the butter and oil together over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the squash and chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the sage and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat.
Crostini: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sage. Sprinkle the cheese on top and season with salt, to taste. Bake until the cheese has melted and the bread is light golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cheese crostini.
Cook's Note: The cooked vegetable mixture can also be pureed by ladling, in batches, into a food processor or blender and blended until smooth.
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