Recipe: Simple & Yummy Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve always been intimidated by soups. In fact, prior to my daughter eating solid foods, I had never even made chicken broth. Yesterday, I took the plunge. The result:  a marvelous (totting my own horn!) Creamy Butternut Squash Soup that rivals some of the ones I’ve had at top restaurants. Enjoy the recipe I borrowed from Chow.com, and made some modifications. I picked this version because I liked how simple they made it to work with butternut squash. Those suckers are difficult to cut and the skin is very hard to peal. Slicing just in half (see image below), and placing the squash in the oven to bake, so that the flesh easily removes from the skin, is easy and gives me 50 minutes to play with the kids or work on another blog post.

INGREDIENTS 
2 medium size butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium Granny Smith apple (I’m pretty sure I used Golden Delicious by accident … still tasted good)
1/2 medium yellow onion
4 fresh sage leaves (add more for extra flavor)
3 cups of home made chicken broth (it’s always low sodium!! Make a lot of broth and freeze it for the future.)
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves. Season generously with salt and pepper. (So I actyally forgot to season with salt and pepper, and it was fine. Opps.) Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
4. When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
5. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
6. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth. I used my beloved Magic Bullet! It’s become my best friend, in the kitchen.
7.Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.

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