Butternut Squash Soup with Garlicky Panko Crumbs
- 3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 6 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Bread Crumb Topping
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
- 1/2 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs (unseasoned)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash, celery, thyme, garlic, fennel seeds, 1 tsp salt, and a generous grinding of pepper with the oil and vinegar.
- Divide evenly between two baking sheets, and roast for 20 minutes. Add the red onion, stir, and roast until the onion is soft and the squash can easily be pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
- To make the bread-crumb topping: While the vegetables are roasting, warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant but not burned, about 30 seconds.
- Add the panko and thyme, and stir to coat the crumbs. Drizzle the vinegar over the top, then season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until the crumbs are golden and crunchy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer the cooled vegetables to a blender, and add 2 cups of the stock. Beginning on low, blend the vegetables, turning the speed to high to puree it completely.
- Add 2 more cups of the stock and blend to combine. Depending on the consistency you prefer, add up to 2 more cups of stock. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with a spoonful of bread crumbs, and serve immediately.