October = Fall = start of soup season. I like butternut squash soup. Mine is different because I roast my squash (roasted vegetables add more depth to soups) and I add garam masala, mace and ginger, instead of just nutmeg. I will be making this later today, thought I would share the recipe now.
I was over at Sugartown Strawberries yesterday afternoon and was inspired to make soup due to the perfectly beautiful squash fresh picked by Farmer Bob. (And as a related aside, Sugartown Strawberries starts hay rides next weekend I think)
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and seeded (mine today is about 3 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large white onion, minced
- 2 carrots minced
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 pint light cream or fat-free half and half
- 6 fresh sage leaves chopped fine
- celery salt and ground pepper to taste
- mace and ground ginger to taste
- small dash of garam masala to taste
Halve your squash and remove seeds. brush with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper and place face down on a sheet pan lined with non stick foil or parchment paper and roast skin side up about 40 -45 minutes at 350 degrees (you want squash to be roasted and cooked to be able to easily slide out of the skin.)
When squash is done, remove from oven and leave to cool
Place butter in dutch oven or soup pot and melt. Add sage leaves to pot, followed by onion, carrots and a little celery salt. Over lowish heat gently cook onions down to the point just before they caramelize. Remove from heat.
By now your squash should be hopefully cool enough to handle. Remove from skin and put small pieces into your soup pot with the onions and stir. Fully incorporate your squash (yes, there will be an unattractive mush in your pot at this point) and next quickly whisk in corn starch and incorporate. Slowly and gently whisk in light cream or fat-free half and half – do not boil but bring the heat up almost so all is incorporated.
Add the broth. Stir, stir, stir until all is incorporated and blending together and broth is heated through.
Reduce to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes covered. Next take a hand blender (you know one of those little blender wands and puree your soup right in the pot.
Check salt level and adjust accordingly. Add ground pepper and additional salt to taste and add a good shake of both ground ginger and mace and a judicial pinch of garam masala. A lot of people do this with just nutmeg, I think the garam masala, mace, and ginger taste better.
Keep on simmer/warm stirring occasionally until you serve. This is a soup you can serve the same day or heat up the next day.
This is a soup that does NOT freeze well, so make it fresh and finish in a couple of days.
Additional serving suggestions:
Garnish with rough chopped flat leaf italian parsley and a smattering chopped toasted pecans and a teaspoon of crème fraîche in the center of each soup bowl or serve plain.