Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup

We’re at the tail end of our Indian Summer here in Montreal. For close to a week it’s been hot and muggy, but the forecast for the weekend is cold and rainy. It’s officially time to start thinking about cold weather foods. Although I’ll miss the heat and sunshine the Summer brings, Fall foods are my favourite. Soups and stews made with harvest vegetables, shepherds pie, roasted squash; all of these are warm and comforting to me. I could go on for hours about Fall baking, but for now I’ll just keep it to these two words: pumpkin pie.

We had a little preview of the cold weather a couple of weeks ago, so I took the opportunity to get a head start on the fall cooking and made this Roasted Squash Soup. This is possibly the easiest dish I’ve ever made, if you’re new to cooking this is a great recipe to make you feel like you can do it. Simply roast the squash, onion and garlic until the squash is cooked, then transfer it all to a pot adding chicken broth and spices. Easy peasy!

Roasting the squash, onions and garlic add a sweet, caramelized, dimension to the flavour of the soup. I made it quite thick because I like it that way, but if you prefer a thinner soup simply add more broth. I also use a touch of cream to add .. creaminess to the soup (there must be another word for that, richness maybe?), but that can be omitted if you’d prefer to keep the dairy out.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 litre low sodium chicken broth
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • Salt a pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup cream or half and half
  • Sunflower seeds and chives to garnish
    1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
    2. While the oven is heating, slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (you’ll need a good knife to slice the squash). Peel the onion and slice it in half. Place on a baking sheet season with salt and pepper then drizzle with most of the olive oil. Slice the top off the garlic head then place it on a small piece of foil. Drizzle with the remaining oil, wrap in the foil and place on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes until the squash is soft (poke it with a fork to test)
    3. Let the squash cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh into a medium pot along with the onion. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze it into the pot (the cloves should slide right out). Add the chicken broth, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the soup cool then puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.
    4. Stir in the cream and serve garnished with sunflower seeds and chopped chives.

Enjoy!

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Pear and Butternut Squash Soup

September is a weird month for me. It makes me hope the summer will go on a little longer, but at the same time it has me craving fall foods likes soups and stews. The cooler weather over the last couple of days made it a great time to make a soup. I still had a few pears so I decided to adapt Martha Stewarts Pear and Autumn Vegetable Soup, from the Oct 2006 issue.

I loved the idea of adding pear to the vegetable soup, but I was a little surprised that Martha called for water instead of broth. I also thought the soup could use a little more flavour so I added some sautéed onion as well. The soup is wonderfully satisfying and warming on a cold rainy day. There are a lot of steps in the recipe so it’s a little time-consuming, although most of it is unattended. You can skip the pear garnish and replace with pumpkin seeds, but it does make the soup very pretty. You can also skip roasting the squash and just peel and dice the squash instead.

Pear and Butternut Squash Soup

  • 5 medium pears
  • 1 butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 L low sodium chicken broth (or homemade)
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice one pear very thinly, using a mandoline.  Place slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour till slices are dry. Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 400. Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour. Once done, scoop the squash out of the skin.
  3. Peel and core the remaining pears. Cut them into large chucks.
  4. In a soup pot, saute the onions until translucent. Add the pears, squash, and broth. Bring to a boil, season with sage, salt and pepper, then lower the temperature and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Let the soup cool a bit, then use and immersion blender to puree. Stir in the cream.
  6. Serve soup with sliced pears as garnish.

Enjoy!

I’ll be submitting this to Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Mondays. Check out what everyone else has been up to!