I've made this fabulous soup twice now and each time it disappeared too quickly. I can't recall how many versions of butternut squash soup I must have made in the past 10 years. At least 10. This one is by far the best. The vinegar adds balance to all the sugar of squash and syrup. Soups made with roasted squash seem to have better flavor, but the ones made with fresh one have better texture. This one is the best of both worlds since it calls for half roasted and half fresh. Hefty quantities of cream and butter don't hurt either. What can I say... it's autumnal perfection.
Thank you so much to Joshua, David, and all the cooks of Ten Tables for being such a bottomless source of inspiration.
Here is my adaptation of Ten Tables' soup.
2.5 Lb butternut squash (1 medium)
4 Tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, diced (see leek cleaning instructions)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen string
1 inch ginger, peeled
1/3 cup heavy cream
8 cups water, chicken stock (low-sodium boxed is fine), or vegetable stock (only if homemade)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and again in half crosswise to form 4 quarters (2 will be round with the seeds, and 2 will be solid flesh). Remove the seeds from the round pieces, rub them with 1 Tbsp olive oil, place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in the bottom third of the oven until tender and nicely browned, 30-40 minutes. Peel the other two pieces of squash (the ones you aren't roasting), and cut them into 3/4 inch dice.
- Set a 4 quart soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the butter, onion, leek, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally until tender and translucent. Regulate heat so that no color develops. Add the garlic, ginger, and thyme and continue to cook until aromatic, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the diced squash and scooped out flesh of roasted squash and stir to coat. Cook over medium heat stirring often until the diced squash just started to get soft around the edges, about 15 minutes.
- Add 2 Tbsp heavy cream and enough water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock to cover the squash by about an inch. Taste and season to taste with salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is totally soft, 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the chunk of ginger and thyme bundle. Puree in a blender, stir in the remainder of cream (about 1/4 cup or less if you are on a diet), maple syrup, and cider vinegar. If you like a really silky soup, strain it. If the soup is too thick to your liking, add more water or stock. Taste and correct seasoning, adding more salt, maple syrup, and cream as needed.