For the Chai-Butternut Soup:
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 chai teabag
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs thyme
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (optional)
For the Spice Maple Almonds:
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 400°F.
For the almonds, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Turn everything out on a parchment-lined sheet tray and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight containers for up to two days.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Place the squash, apple and onion onto a parchment-lined sheet tray and drizzle with plenty of olive oil, about two tablespoons. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper then roast 25 minutes or until squash are fork-tender.
While the squash is cooking, prepare your stock: In a medium-sized stock pot, bring the stock and apple cider vinegar to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add in the chai teabag, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and whole sprigs of thyme, and turn off the heat. Remove pot from heat and let all the ingredients steep for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove and discard the tea bag, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and thyme.
Place all of the stock and the roasted vegetables into a blender and blend on high until super smooth. Pour the soup into a pot and bring to a bubble before serving. Right before serving, stir in the cream, if using.

Serve soup garnished with Spice Maple Almonds.