Monday, January 25, 2010
Butternut Squash Soup
While Fall has certainly come and gone...the autumnal squash has not! January and February bring a lot of gray skies here in Northern California and I crave a big bowl of soup most days. This year I think I found a "keeper" in this recipe. It is delicious, sweet and savory, and very healthy! It also doubles as great babyfood and combines a few different veggies...and a fruit!
This recipe is very simple, provided you have an extra hour and a very sharp knife to hack through a butternut squash! Or, you can do as I did this time, and pick up an already peeled and cubed squash at Costco. I know Trader Joe's also carries it this way, but not in as large of a quantity.
These are all of the ingredients you will need for this recipe:
I used 2lbs of already cubed squash and therefore added a little bit more of each ingredient, but will write the recipe as if I were using one whole butternut squash.
I roasted the squash this time, for depth of flavor. I really liked what it did for the soup. However, it is still delicious if you skip this step. I roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes, or until it looked like this:
Then I chopped up some veggies for even more depth of flavor. I really think this is what makes this soup better than most of the butternut squash soups I've had.
This trio of veggies is often referred to as the "Holy Trinity" or "Mirepoix".
Your kitchen is starting to smell very yummy...
Here's another thing that makes this soup standout: an apple! You'll want to use a tart one, if possible, but I have used fuji when it was all I had on hand and with no ill-effect. You want to shoot for a 3:1 ratio of butternut squash to apple.
Bring it all to a simmer with some chicken broth or stock, blend with an immersion blender, and...
TADA! You have delicious, creamy soup with absolutely no cream!! Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a dash of both cinnamon and nutmeg. Key word: dash. Do not put too much or it will definitely over power the flavors of the soup.
Then, and this is something I learned from my mom, garnish with sour cream and chives. She always did this when serving this type of soup, or any creamy soup for that matter. It is especially delicious in tomato soup and cream of broccoli soup.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 TBSP butter
1 butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and cubed
3 cups of chicken broth or stock
kosher salt and peper
cinnamon and nutmeg
sour cream and chives, for garnish
Place cubed squash on a baking sheet, toss with a little EVOO, and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
Melt butter in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or pot, add celery, onions, and carrot and saute for about 5 minutes. Add apples, squash, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 10 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and a dash of both cinnamon and nutmeg. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and chives.