Thursday, October 7, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash ... (and Friends) Soup

I don't know why it took me so long to discover butternut squash, it just did.  I don't remember my mother ever cooking it when I was a kid.  Looking back on my childhood, it would be fair to say we were a squash-less family.  We ate our vegetables, but they were more along the lines of string beans, peas, carrots, and broccoli.  Mostly frozen vegetables were served in our house, with the exception of holidays.  Holidays always commanded fresh vegetables.

When I moved out of my parent's home,  I headed west to California, the land of fresh vegetables. While living in Santa Cruz,  I had a brief stint with vegetarianism.  I had an open mind and found the joys of fresh produce: artichokes, arugula, lettuce that was not iceberg, brussel sprouts and squash.  I also learned that there were many ways to cook vegetables as well. Vegetables could be more than an obligatory lump of green on your plate. I discovered one of my favorite ways to cook winter squash was roasting.  Roasted butternut squash has a wonderful depth of flavor and can stand on its own.  It doesn't take much of leap to know that if you take that roasted squash and puree it with some broth, you'll have the start of a really good soup.  Add a few other ingredients to the mix and you'll have something special.

I call this soup "roasted butternut squash (and friends) soup" because I like to add other vegetables to the mix.  Sometimes I roast a carrot or a parsnip along with the squash.  Any root vegetable works well.  My favorite additions are yams and red onion.  They add both flavor and sweetness.  Whatever you choose, be sure to cut the veggies up in similar sized cubes like this:
 Then make sure they are well seasoned like this:
      They need to roast in a hot oven 
Until they are nice, soft and caramelized
Add roasted vegetables to chicken stock or vegetable stock on the stove, (I keep frozen home made stock on hand and ready to go....thaw it first)
Puree and season
A touch of cream's soup!

Roasted Butternut Squash (and Friends) Soup
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • fresh grated nutmeg
  1. Place cut vegetables in a large bowl.  Add olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss until well coated.
  2. Spread vegetables onto a large baking sheet, arranging in a single layer. If they do not fit in a single layer, use 2 baking sheets.
  3. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, half-way through roasting flip veggies over with a spatula.  Vegetables should be soft and caramelized.
  4. Heat stock in a large pot.
  5. Add roasted vegetables to the heated stock.
  6. Using a immersion blender - blend until smooth.
  7. Add minced sage and simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add cream and heat another 5 minutes.  Correct seasoning.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with a swirl of cream and fresh grated nutmeg.

Note:  I like to roast double the vegetables.  I serve one tray of the roasted vegetables as a side dish with a roast chicken and make soup with the remaining vegetables.

1 comment:

  1. I'm coming home soon, hopefully for some nice butternut squash soup, or maybe gazpacho or Osso Buco, or whatever you feel like cooking. I'll do the cleanup if it is good.
    Let me know what wine you want with it.