Butternut Squash Soup

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butternut squash soup
Soup is such a warming cozy meal!

When we picked up a butternut squash for our Butternut Squash & Mushroom Pies, we selected the smallest available. It was still over three pounds. Sure, it’s a bit less when it’s trimmed, peeled, and seeded, but it’s still a lot of squash that we needed to use. The simplest way would have been just as a side dish. You know, some squash topped with a bit of butter, but we had other plans.

We went with a soup, basically following the recipe for the Presidential Mushroom Soup, but with butternut squash in place of mushrooms. It’s a simple soup, and we think that it shows the versatility of having a good recipe for a cream of “something” soup. You can change it to cream of “anything” soup. If you don’t yet have such a basic recipe, you might want to give this one a try. It’s good.

Makes 4 servings.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek and garlic and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add squash and thyme and sprinkle with flour. Stir to coat.

While stirring, slowly add stock. Bring to a low boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Working in batches, process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan and re-heat to a simmer.

Add cream and warm through, but do not boil. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2014/02/butternut-squash-soup/

Ingredient discussion:

mise en place
This is pretty much all you need for soup. Not much, right?

Leeks are milder and sweeter than onion, so use it if you have one; otherwise, use about 1/4 cup of minced onion. Use fresh thyme if you have it; otherwise, dried thyme works very well for soup. It often seems as though it’s a bit more flavorful than fresh. We’ll leave the type of cream up to you. For a very rich soup, use heavy cream; half-and-half will make a lighter soup. We do recommend that you find cream without additives — read those ingredients lists. Finally, use a light stock. We use stock we scratch ourselves — basically we save vegetable scraps for about a week, then boil them up and strain.

Procedure in detail:

Roast squash. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

cooking leeks
Leeks are milder than onions, so cook them more slowly to retain their flavor.

Cook alliums. Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, and, when melted, add the leeks and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. We like to cook the leeks at a lower temperature than onions because they’re milder. Too high a temperature will cook away some of the delicate taste.

Add squash and thyme. Stir in the squash and thyme so it all gets coated with a bit of butter.

adding flour
The addition of the flour is to help thicken the soup just slightly. You might not even notice that the broth will thicken, but it does.

Add flour. Technically, we’re making a roux. Basically, mixing flour with fat and using it to thicken our soup. So, sprinkle the flour over the squash mixture and stir it in so everything is coated. Continue to cook and stir for about 1 minute.

adding broth
Stir the entire time you’re adding broth so you won’t get a flour lump. Yuck!

Add broth. Stirring continuously to avoid lumps, slowly add the broth to the squash mixture, then bring to a low boil.

Simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. This may not seem important, but it is, as it cooks the flour so that it no longer tastes like flour. No one likes soup that tastes like flour.

pureeing soup
We used a food processor, which meant we had to process the soup in four or five batches.

Process. Working in batches if need be, process all of the soup in a blender or a food processor until it’s smooth. If you have one of those immersion blenders on a stick, use that, as it’ll be easier than several trips to the food processor. Once smooth, return to the pan and the heat. Bring back to a simmer.

adding cream
Once the soup is back to a simmer, add the cream, and heat through.

Add cream. Pour in the cream, stir, and let the soup heat through. Do not let it boil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

season soup
Season with salt and pepper, and your soup is ready.

 

 

butternut squash soup
We had ours with some homemade soup crackers. Recipe tomorrow.

Serve immediately. Cream soups are hard to re-heat or keep hot, as the cream tends to separate a bit, making the soup more milky than creamy. So get out those bowls and dish it up.

We had this for dinner and, while it was a good way to use up the squash, butternut squash is not our favorite flavor. It tends to be a bit on the sweet side, somewhat lacking in the savory component, which is really what we’re looking for in soup. But, we will say that this is a very good recipe, and, other than roasting the squash beforehand, it’s quite easy and straightforward to prepare. Even though it’s easy, we’ll still give it four stars for the flavor (if you love butternut squash, you’ll probably give it five).

Worth the trouble?

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