Runamok Maple, a Vermont-based company owned by the husband and wife team of Eric and Laura Sorkin, produces a unique line of barrel-aged, smoked, and infused (organic) maple syrups. Perfect for culinary pros and novices alike!  With over 1,000 acres of land along the northwest slopes of Mount Mansfield, the team at Runamok Maple manages 81,000 taps to bring their pure maple syrup to consumers near and far.  This week, Eric and Laura serve up a classic winter soup and imprint it with shitake mushrooms, crispy pepitas and their signature Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup…


There are a few dishes that are now just platforms for a chef’s signature.  They have been done so many times that the standard simply will not do.  Any chef worth her salt would not serve a simple tomato and mozzarella pizza but would imprint her regional or stylistic mark on it.  Thin crust with arugula, pancetta and a fried egg anyone?  Butternut squash soup is like that.  The standard is pretty good and always welcome on a cold November day, but like a boneless chicken breast, there are a lot of directions one could go to make it a whole hellava lot more interesting.  To add a bit of texture so I don’t feel like I’m eating baby food I throw on some sautéed shitake mushrooms and crispy pepitas.  The addition that makes it a Runamok recipe, though, is a drizzle of cream that has been blended with Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup.  Just a touch sweet and smoky and oh, so creamy.  Take that, Anise-Spiced Squash Soup with Fennel Chips.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sauteed Shitakes, Pepitas and Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Cream

1 onion, peeled and diced

vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 medium butternut squash that has been peeled, seeded and diced (about 4 cups)

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 qt chicken stock

Salt and pepper

½ cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp Runamok Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup

4 or 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

A few Tbsp salted pepitas

In a large pot, heat about 2 Tbsp. oil and add the onions.  Let the onions sauté in the pan until just turning brown.  Add the garlic and cook a few minutes more.  Add the squash, apple and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.  Let the soup cook until the squash is very tender.  Let cool a bit then put in a blender until smooth (you may need to add some water if it is too thick).  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper accordingly.

In a separate small skillet, heat about 1 Tbsp oil and add sliced shiitakes.  Cook until nicely browned and then season with salt.

In a small sauce pan, heat the cream.  Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.  Let the cream reduce by half.  Remove from the heat and add the Smoked Maple Syrup and a pinch of salt.  Stir to blend.

When ready to serve, heat the soup and then ladle into a soup bowl.  Make a generous swirl of the maple cream then garnish with shitakes and pepitas.


Co-Founded by Professionally Trained Chef Laura Sorkin, who worked for acclaimed Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten at his Thai-French restaurant, Vong, Runamok Maple is a maker of all-natural, organic maple syrup.  Boasting ten varieties of pure, barrel-aged, smoked, and infused maple syrup, including flavors like bourbon barrel-aged, pecan-wood smoked, and cinnamon-vanilla, Runamok Maple is available for purchase on their website as well as in select specialty food shops across the United States. Check out Runamok Maple on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Author Susan Currie is an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Tishman Review, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through the creative and yoga workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, GRACENOTES (Shanti Arts 2017), a blend of words and images, is now available in wide release.