Butternut Squash Soup

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So I’ve explained how much I love butternut squash right? Well, I LOVE it. Plus I grew a ridiculous load of it in my garden this summer and have like 13 huge squash to use so if I didn’t like it I’d be in a bit of trouble. Butternut squash soup is likely my favorite way to eat squash, but don’t quote me on that. I may change my mind tomorrow.

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Now, to be clear this is NOT a soup that is mealy, fibrous or baby-food like in its texture. I prefer creamy/silky soups and this falls into that category. This is not a complicated process re: skill or technique, BUT it does take a bit of time. I’d say you will likely spend about 1 hour total cooking time meaning ‘on your feet active in the kitchen time’. But its WORTH it and you’l end up with about 3 mason jars full of soup to eat that week, freeze, give to neighbors and be all Norman Rockwell-esque during the holidays – its your soup…go nuts.

The best part about this soup is how it tastes. The second best is how you can top the soup with whatever you want – I used goat cheese crumbles and toasted walnuts this time around. I’ve used things like fried sage, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, the world is your oyster. So lets get to work!

Equipment:

  • High powered food processor, high powered blender (Vitamix-like), or immersion blender
  • If you do NOT have a food processor or immersion blender, you will need some sort of low powered blender and a fine mesh strainer.
  • I used a high powered food processor AND the fine mesh strainer. I like my soup extra smooth. Using the high powered blender alone would’ve been ok, I tasted the soup and it was really good texture, but I did the extra work anyways.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size butternut squash (about 4 lbs)
  • 1 cup buttermilk or half/half (you could use cream but I tried to be ‘light’)
  • 2 small granny smith apples
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 gloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (canned or fresh). You can use vegetable stock if you prefer.
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 10 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tsp salt measured + more on the side for use
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper measured + more on the side for use

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel, seed, and cube the squash into 1″ cubes.
  3. Line two baking sheets with foil
  4. Put all squash in a bowl. Sprinkle with some of your ‘on the side’ salt and pepper.
  5. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and pour into bowl. Mix well and spread all squash on the baking sheets
  6. Place in oven for 20 minutes. After cooking for 20 minutes, with a spatula flip the squash/move around a bit. Cook for another 20 minutes or until they are VERY tender, easily pierced with a fork or a knife. The fork or knife should go into the squash like its butter.
  7. While squash is cooking, peel the apple, core it, seed it and chop into a medium dice (about 1/2 inch)
  8. Peel the onion and chop into a medium dice (about 1/2 inch)
  9. Peel and mince the garlic
  10. Pull squash from oven.
  11. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, melt the other 2 tbsp butter and toss in the onions, apples, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
  12. After another 5 minutes when onions are beginning to soften, toss in the sage leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. Add in the squash to the onion/apple mix and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  14. Add in all water and chicken stock.
  15. Bring to a boil.
  16. Lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  17. Pull from heat and stir in the half/half.
  18. Working in batches, put spoonfuls of the soup mixture into the blender until its about half full. Leave the smaller center lid off and cover with a dish towel (to allow steam to release).
  19. Blend for about 15 seconds or until smooth. It may seem very thick in the first batch or two, but you still have a lot of mixture to work with and the majority of the liquid comes at the end. Patience friends.
  20. Pour the blended soup out of the blender bottle and either into a large pot OR you can first run it through a mesh strainer to give it one more ‘get rid of clumps’ round. I usually taste it to test the texture so I can decide what I want to do.
    • If you DO decide to run it through a strainer that is easy! Just hold the strainer in your left hand and pour in the soup with your right. Grab a spatula and stir the soup around the strainer until its all pushed through. Then rinse the strainer so its ready for the next batch.
  21. Continue steps 18-20 until all soup is blended, strained (if you prefer) and into the new pretty pot of soup.
  22. Add the measured salt and pepper…tossing in more as you like.
  23. If you want the soup any thinner, you can add more stock or milk…just add a little at a time so it doesn’t dilute the flavor too much, or make the soup too thin.
  24. Serve immediately so its still hot, or pour into mason jars (once cooled) to eat later or eat another day.
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About to pour melted butter on the squash and mix. it. up.

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Squash about to be roasted!

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Squash roasting in the oven

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Cooking apples, onion, sage, garlic in butter

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Adding roasted squash to the onion/apple/sage mix

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Simmering and almost ready for the blender

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About to blend the soup

 

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Straining soup after its been blended

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Straining the soup

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Final soup in large pot

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Final product served w/ toasted pecans, goat cheese and breadsticks

 

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