I don’t know why I’ve never attempted to make butternut squash soup at home. I know that when I see it on a restaurant menu, I certainly order it and savor the sweet but savory pureed orange soup, and imagine blustery winds, crunchy and vibrant Autumn leaves, and a scarf preventing all but the most severe winds from chilling my neck. Of COURSE I love a soup that conjures up my favorite season of the year!
And add to that what seems like a genetic code that predisposes me to LOVING squash (correct me if I’m wrong but it seems me and all my Korean relatives and friends LOVE squash)…and it becomes very strange that I have never made anything with butternut squash.
Maybe it’s the squash itself–large, heavy, and almost impenetrable. THAT intimidating vegetable becomes soup? Somehow, I tolerate large, heavy, thick skinned melons in the summer, but I’ve weirdly stayed clear of Autumn vegetables with similar qualities.
But no more!
At the market, I bought a butternut squash, on impulse. I looked at the piles of sugar pie pumpkins, and realized they no longer intimidated me–I like to roast them, puree them, and turn them into pumpkin muffins and pumpkin rocks, for starters (oh, and pumpkin pie!). Why not try cooking butternut squash? I grabbed one, and walked around the produce section, secretly proud of my new ambition.
And I knew what I would make. I would make a butternut squash soup. Oh. YES.
I flipped through several butternut squash recipes found on the net and in my cookbooks–and through my own laziness (there were ingredients like leeks that I didn’t have on hand, and that I did not want to go shop for) and preferences (I decided to leave out whipping cream–the soup was DELICIOUS! It didn’t need milk or whipping cream), I ended up adapting a recipe out of epicurious.
You can see all the vegetable ingredients prepped above–can you believe all of this turns into a gorgeous orange puree? You sautee, boil, and puree. And then devour, as we did. It’s rare that I make a soup that we eat in the course of one single day–but we did. My husband and I snuck bowls of it all day, and then when two of our friends came over for dinner, it disappeared.
So glad I took that butternut squash home.
And here’s the other thing–this soup reintroduced me to my immersion blender. I’d bought the thing nearly fifteen years ago in my senior year of college, thinking that an immersion blender might help make cocktails. I couldn’t afford a blender, but I quickly learned that an immersion blender is not a good substitute for a blender. And hence, it has lain dormant ever since.
No more! It has now been used to puree soup (you’re right–I’ve avoided making pureed soups too, all these years–why oh why, I now ask myself).
This soup is going to be made quite often in this household.
Recipe follows after the jump…
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP with SOUR CREAM topping (based on Epicurious recipe)
Servings: Serves 10.
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium sized butternut squash
1 cup chopped green scallions (white part only)–or leeks (white part only)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1.5 cups chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small apples (I used fuji), peeled, cored, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried savory (or sage)
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup sour cream
Chopped fresh chives
Optional: you can roast the squash beforehand like I did (makes it easier to peel and chop)–I halved the butternut squash and roasted it on a cookie sheet (cut sides down) in an 350F oven for an hour and then chopped up the squash…or you can just peel it, take out the seeds, and chop it up, uncooked, and proceed with the recipe…
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, onions, carrot and celery; sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage/savory. Add stock and 1.5 cups cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Puree soup with an immersion blender…(or in batches, purée soup in blender, then return soup to pan).
For optional cider sour cream (you can also just use plain sour cream to top the soup instead): Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream (or just sour cream). Top with chives.