I have something of an aversion to blended soups, mostly because the homogeneous texture gets boring after a while. Instead, I love brothy soups—ones with all kinds of things floating in the bowl for me to scoop out. But who says you can't add things into a blended soup to get the best of both worlds?
I decided to tackle that fall staple, butternut squash soup. Most recipes begin by peeling, cubing, and then simmering the gourd in a liquid until tender. But I wanted something a bit more assertive, so I hit upon the idea of roasting the cubed pieces until they were nicely browned and tender. And since I already had the oven on, why not cook everything in there?
To add a bit of color, I added red bell peppers and kale to the pan. The leaves don't get quite as crispy as full-on kale chips, but that's okay since they're tossed in the soup anyway. I also added some lemon wedges on top, which lent the kale a much-needed shot of acidity. Those same lemons are then squeezed into the soup, freshening up every spoonful.
Though this might sound a bit finicky, because it's all tossed in a couple pans and roasted, it's actually pretty easy. Plus, every bite is has a savory, roasted character that I found really appealing.