Thursday, October 13, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

I always make Butternut Squash Soup with freshly roasted purée and serve it in my thick porcelain Pillivuyt bowls as soon as I find great squashes.  I showed you in a previous post how simple and delicious roasted butternut squash is, so why not turn some of that purée into soup?  For a spectacular dinner serve this with a good piece of buttered artisanal bread and a fresh salad.  My version of this soup uses one of the basic French foundations in cooking: a delicious and easy mirepoix.  Treat yourself & your families to a bowl of this soul warming soup while butternut squashes are plentiful.  I guarantee you're going to like it. 




The Ingredients
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 cups homemade Chicken Stock (vegetable can be substituted)
  • 2 cups Roasted Butternut Squash Purée
  • salt & pepper
Yield: 4 servings



In a 4 qt. sauce pot over medium heat, sauté the carrot, onion & celery in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.  This "trinity" of vegetables is called a mirepoix in French and is the foundation for so many soups & classic sauces.  Salt & pepper to taste, then add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.



Add the chicken stock & sprig of thyme to the pot & raise the heat.  Bring the mixture up to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid & lower your heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes, just until the mirepoix has softened completely. 

Remove the thyme sprig & discard.  Strain the mixture into a medium-sized, heatproof bowl using a fine mesh sieve.  Purée the mirepoix with 1 cup of the reserved stock in a blender or a food processor until it is smooth. 


Note: When blending hot liquids you must provide a means of escape for the heat, so leave the lid slightly ajar and drape a kitchen towel over the opening to prevent any burns. 



Have the 2 cups of Roasted Butternut Squash ready.  Return the pureed mirepoix and all of the chicken stock to the sauce pot, and mix with your butternut squash purée.  Salt & pepper the soup and bring it up to a simmer.  I find that it only needs a few minutes simmering on the stove before it's ready to serve.


Note: if you find the soup too thick for your liking, you can thin it out with some more stock, some milk or cream.  You decide what consistency you like.  





Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.





I know it's tempting to buy premade Butternut Squash Soup from markets and restaurants, but you shouldn't have to settle for it after seeing how simple it is to make at home.  There are many versions of this soup and I like them all for the most part.  To my mind, the pure flavor of butternut squash should come through in this type of soup.  I don't want to have too many other flavors competing with each other.  You can enhance & boost the flavor, if you wish, with other herbs or perhaps a dollop of crème fraîche or even some yogurt.  Some crumbled bacon is certainly welcomed and quite delicious.  I hope this soup has managed to capture your attention and taste buds.  Make it for dinner this weekend and let me know what you think.  Bon appétit!

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