With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Butternut Squash Soup

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup

 The warm hues of autumn are echoed in this golden-orange bowl of butternut squash soup.
Thick, with a mild, slightly sweet taste, this winter squash is low-calorie and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese, folate, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1 (thiamin), copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). It is also a source of iron and beta carotene. (source)

I had already roasted the butternut squash the day before I came upon this Williams-Sonoma recipe that roasts the squash without cutting it in half.  I'm always uneasy cutting these thick-skinned squash and will definitely give this method a try next time. I usually cut the squash in half, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake until tender.
And, since I didn't have the oven hot at the time I was making the soup, I toasted the nuts in a dry pan on top of the stove. 
Butternut Squash Soup
 slightly adapted from recipe Williams-Sonoma 

2 large butternut squashes, each 1 1/2 to 2 lb.
1/3 cup hazelnuts, optional (I used mixed nuts)
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 yellow onions, chopped (I used the red onions because that is what I had)
3 celery ribs, chopped
8 fresh sage leaves, shredded
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or canned broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (I used 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)
Ground nutmeg, to taste, (I think the nutmeg is important and added about 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground)
Pinch of sugar, if needed (I added 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar)

My additions:
1 cup cream or half & half or more to thin to desired consistency (I used fat free half & half)
Served with a dollop a Greek yogurt or sour cream  

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Prick each squash with the tip of a knife so it will not explode when it bakes. Place the whole squashes on a baking sheet and roast until they feel somewhat soft to the touch and a knife penetrates the skin easily, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds and fibers. Scoop out the pulp into a bowl and set aside.

While the squashes are cooling, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and the skins have loosened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, place the nuts in a kitchen towel. Rub the towel vigorously to remove the skins; do not worry if small bits of skin remain. Chop and set aside.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery and half of the sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the stock and squash pulp, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Remove from the heat.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to a clean saucepan. Alternatively, pass the soup through a food mill placed over the pan. Reheat gently over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper (and cream, if using). If the squash is starchy rather than sweet, a little nutmeg will help. If the nutmeg does not give the proper flavor balance, add a pinch of sugar.

Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with the hazelnuts and the remaining sage. If desired, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.


Ann said...

This sounds and looks very good. I would never be able to convince Wade to try it (the original picky eater) but that just leaves more for me :)

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

This sounds and looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.


Catherine said...

The soup would make a beautiful soup for the holidays. It not only sounds delicious it looks so pretty. Blessings, Catherine

Maryann said...

I like this recipe, I have the same concerns about cutting the butternut squash, I never even thought about roasting it whole. I have a squash in my fridge right now, someone say dinner? Thanks for sharing this

Sandi said...

I was just thinking today that I need a butternut squash soup recipe! Yours looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!!

Susan said...

I LOVE this soup, LDH. Your recipe for it sounds great. Thanks. Susan

Haddock said...

I will have one cup please :-)

Tori Leslie said...

Soup sounds delish and your photo is great! Love your blog, I'll be back!

Dayle said...

'Tis the season for soup!

SarahGeorge said...

mmm.. looks de.li..ci..ous. :)


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