Butternut Squash Soup

& Panini

Serves 4



For the panini:

2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and

sliced 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; divided
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt to taste
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
8 slices rustic bread 
1 (5.2 oz) package Boursin Garlic & Fine

Herbs Cheese

For the soup:

2 pounds butternut squash, seeded, and cut into chunks away from the rind 
4 cups chicken stock 
1 garlic clove 
2 sprigs fresh thyme 
1 ¼ cups sour cream 
2 tablespoons butter 
1 tablespoon sugar (optional) 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Red pepper puree (optional):
1 jarred roasted red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chicken broth 
Salt and pepper



For the panini:

  1. Heat the oven to 450 F. In a large bowl combine the squash, 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil, smoked paprika and season with salt and toss well. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and evenly spread out, roast until tender and golden 15 – 20 minutes. Toss slightly to ensure even cooking. Remove from the oven and let cool.

  2. While squash is roasting, heat 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion and season with a little salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well softened and start to turn golden brown (about 15 minutes). Add the vinegar and brown sugar, stir and reduce until consistency looks like honey (about 15 minutes).

  3. Combine roasted squash and onions in a bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Taste for seasoning, at this stage you can add the pepper. If it feels too acidic, feel free to add a little honey or maple syrup. 

  4. Assemble sandwiches by placing roasted squash mixture on one slice of bread.  Spread 1/4 of the cheese on the other slice.  Put both slices of bread together to form a sandwich. Brush outside with butter. Repeat to make 3 more sandwiches.

  5. Heat grill pan over medium heat; place sandwich in the pan and top with another heavy pan to compress the sandwich. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip sandwich over and cook until cheese is melted (3 to 4 minutes).

For the soup:

  1. In a large pot, combine the squash, chicken stock, garlic, and thyme and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Fish out the thyme and discard.

  2. Let squash cool slightly. Working in batches, purée the mixture in a blender or food processor. You may prepare the recipe in advance up to this point; refrigerate in a covered container for up to 2 days.


For the pepper puree (optional):

  1. In blender or food processor, puree the roasted pepper adding 2 tablespoons of chicken broth until thickened consistency. Strain into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

  2. Return the butternut squash purée to the pot over medium-low heat. If your soup feels too thick, you can add more stock or water. If it feels too thin, reduce until thickened by heating more on stove. When you feel you have the right consistency, add in the sour cream and butter until heated through (do not boil, it may cause the sour cream to separate). Add sugar until dissolved. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  3. To serve, pour the soup into individual bowls and garnish with pepper puree.

© 2016 Jon Ashton