Friday, November 2, 2007

"Pumpkin" soup

I now understand why people get so excited about anything "pumpkin." Pumpkins are just terribly cute :) Look at this one -- don't you just want to eat her? But from the culinary perspective, I have much more admiration for butternut squash. I've been working on improving my butternut squash soup. The recent changes were inspired by my sister-in-law. When we were visiting her and my brother a few weeks ago, she made such a fabulous butternut squash soup, I was thinking about it for days. The original recipe is from the Williams and Sonoma cookbook. I tweaked it a little (you know me ;), and here is my version.

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4-6

For roasting the squash:
1 large butternut squash (3 Lb)
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
10 sage leaves
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

For the soup:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 yellow onions, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
7 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream

Roasting the squash:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Season the inside with salt and pepper and rub with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place the garlic cloves into the cavity of the squash where seeds used to be.
  3. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet, scatter the sage leaves around, drizzle the leaves with a little olive oil, and roast for 30-40 minutes or until squash is tender but not mushy.
  4. When squash is cool enough to handle, peel it and cut it up into pieces about 1 inch big. Peel the garlic and reserve.

Making the soup:
  1. Melt the butter and oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally until onions are tender and starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the squash, roasted garlic, wine, maple syrup, bay leaf, and 6 cups water. Turn up heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in cream and cook another minute.
  3. Cool 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Puree in batches until smooth. Only fill your blender 2/3 of the way to avoid soup explosions. Pour soup back into the pot. If it's too thick to your liking, add some water. Taste and correct seasoning. The soup can be made up to 2 days in advance and reheated over medium-low heat.
  4. Serve in bowls topped with the crisp sage leaves and/or a swirl of maple cream (1 Tbsp maple syrup blended with 2 Tbsp heavy cream).


Rachel said...

I love butternut squash soup. This version sounds great.

Julia said...

Hi Helen!

I found your site when my husband and I were looking for butternut squash soup recipes. We loved your original recipe, so I'm excited to try this one!


joey said...

Don't you think the recipe really needs the maple syrup or brown sugar? It's not over-powering but simply helps pull the flavors together. Enjoy your site as well as your 'fabulous pumpkin'.

kimc said...

What an adorable little pumpkin you have there! Thanks for the peek.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, what a cute little pumpkin! The soup sounds good too...

Julia said...

I tried your new recipe and I liked it (although my husband preferred the old one). It's inspired me to experiment with other dishes involving butternut squash. So I have a question: When I roast the squash (with or without olive oil, cut side down) I always end up with a really mushy part on the outside, but the bottom of the squash (where the thickest part is) is still too firm. Is there a way to cook the squash if I want a more even texture?



Helen said...

Hi Julia,

If you cut the squash into pieces, you'll get more even texture. I usually cut mine into half circles when I cook it for the side dish.