Monday, October 5, 2015

Squash-Haters Butternut Soup

There are plenty of reasons to love butternut squash. It's orange and healthy and good. Unless, of course, you dislike squash. In which case it doesn't much matter to you if it's orange and healthy because you don't want to eat it. But maybe with this new soup you will. It involves butternut squash of course, but the squashiness does not overwhelm at all. It's silky and smooth and the browned butter gives it a rich caramelized (but not sweet) sort of flavor. I love regular butternut soup and I was skeptical that this somewhat similar soup would really be that different. But then it kind of was.

Despite the title of this blog I guess I can't promise that true squash haters will love this soup, but I think it's definitely got a shot among the squash dislikers. And even the haters might find that--while it's not their favorite soup ever--it's still worth the orange and healthy and goodness. A gateway squash soup if you will. Try it. You might like it.

Squash-Haters Butternut Soup
adapted from Wannabite
serves 6-10
Prep and cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes (or 30 minutes if use microwave method below or if you have leftover butternut squash from a previous meal)
Cost: $4.65
squash: 3.00, half and half .65, butter: .40, stock: .40, sour cream: .20

Note: I halved this.

Note: If you don't want to roast your squash in the oven or are pinched for time, cut them in half, take out the seeds, and then put them face down on a plate with a bit of water. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 10-20 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is easily pierced with a knife.

2 large roasted butternut squashes
1 pint half and half
3/4 stick butter (browned)
2 Tbsp oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 C chicken stock
Creme fraiche to garnish (or sour cream if creme fraise is not yet something in your cooking database)
rosemary for garnish

Cut the squash in half. Take out the seeds. Lightly coat it with oil, salt and pepper. Roast the squash (open side down) on a large baking sheet for about an hour.

Near the end of your roasting time, add the butter to a small saucepan. Melt and heat until it begins to brown. You can do this quickly over medium high heat if you stir it with a whisk as it begins to bubble and brown (don't let the light-colored frothy bubbles on top fool you--underneath it could be browning--so smell it and whisk it--it should smell nutty and when whisked the bottom oily part should be browning). Or you can do it on low heat and let it heat and brown gradually. This always takes too long for my short attention span, but you don't have to pay it too much heed. When it's browned pour it into a glass dish (if you leave it in the pan it will continue to cook and burn).

When it's easily pierced with a knife, scoop out the flesh (it should come out easily). Put this in a blender, add the half and half and the chicken stock.

Blend well. Put this in a pot on medium heat.

Add browned butter, oil (which I actually forgot when I made this and didn't miss, but maybe it would be even silkier), and salt and pepper to taste. Heat until the desired warmness.

Garnish with creme fraiche or sour cream (and, yes, you really should--it's just delicious).


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