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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Green Rooibus-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I contribute recipes to the blog of my friends' tea company, Arbor Teas. Here is a recipe that uses one of their teas as a foundation for a soup broth.

If you enjoy drinking non-caffeinated and herbal teas, then surely by now you have experienced African rooibus. And perhaps you’ve even learned how to pronounce it properly too (hint: ROY-bus). But have you tried green rooibus, yet? It’s an unoxidized version of traditional (oxidized) rooibus that tastes lighter, less sweet and more herbal compared to its counterpart. These qualities also make green rooibus infusions a perfect foundation for soup broth. Here I blend green rooibus with roasted butternut squash, garlic, onions and cream for a wonderfully rich and herbal wintertime soup. It whips up without too much trouble and freezes nicely if you’d like to have a meal at the ready as the busy holiday months approach us.

Green Rooibus-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

serves 4

4 cups water
3 TBS Organic green rooibus tea leaves
2 lb butternut squash, split in half lengthwise and seeds scooped
3 cloves garlic sliced
olive oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 cups heavy cream
salt, fresh ground pepper and fresh ground nutmeg to taste

1. Bring water and organic green rooibus to a boil in a small sauce pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then top with a lid and remove from heat. Allow rooibus to infuse while you proceed to the next step.
2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
3. Place the halved butternut squash on a roasting pan, sprinkle with the sliced garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until slightly browned and soft, 45 minutes to an hour.
4. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion until translucent. Turn off heat and set aside. Reserve saucepan, without wiping clean for the final steps of simmering the soup.
5. Scoop roasted garlic slices and squash from its skin into the canister of a blender. Add the sautéed onions and then strain the rooibus broth into the canister. Blend until completely smooth.
6. Pour the soup back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits left behind from sautéing the onions.
7. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Bring to a simmer again and heat gently for 10 minutes more. Do not allow to boil.

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