Friday, October 8, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Technically speaking, fall has arrived in Washington, DC.... although you'd never know it walking around outside today.  Temperatures hovering around the mid 80's!  I simply love fall - the crispness of the air, halloween, thanksgiving, birthdays, my wedding anniversary, the colors of the changing leaves, and most of all, fall food!

Even though it doesn't feel like fall, the bounty of this lovely season has begun to show up in the market, and I couldn't resist the mounds of butternut squash in the produce section.  Squash is an awesome food - so many different types, and so many things you can do with it - mash it, roast it, stuff it, turn it into soup, add it to cakes and quick breads, etc. etc. etc.  I came up with this butternut squash soup recipe last year, and I hope you give it a try!  It's slightly time consuming because you have to wait for the squash to roast, but the active cook time is pretty quick and overall, it's a cinch.


  • 1 large butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks.
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 heaping T dried, crumbled sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (this provides the spice - but you can omit if you wish)
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • Scant 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 32 oz. box Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 T butter, diced, plus 1 T butter.
  • S&P
  • EVOO

Above: Pre Roast.  Below: Post Roast.
See how the color intensifies?  That
means the flavors have, too!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Put your squash chunks into a large glass baking dish.  Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P.  Toss to coat.  Take your diced butter and dot it over the top of the squash.  Put in oven to roast. I don't have an actual time on this - but it takes at least 30 minutes.  Every once in a while, open up the oven and stir it around to help it brown well and to distribute the melted butter.  It's done when the squash evenly mashes under a spoon, and it has some nice golden brown coloring to it.

While the squash is roasting,  take your diced onion and sauté it in a stock pot or dutch oven in a bit of EVOO and the remaining T of butter.  Season with S& P and cook until it is tender a bit caramelized. Turn off the heat as soon as it's done, and wait for your squash.

When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and add it directly to the pot with the onions.  Add in the entire box of chicken broth, and turn your stovetop on to medium heat.  Using a flat wooden spoon, mix well and scrape up all the caramelized goodness from the bottom of the pot.  Add the milk & water, and all of your spices.  Side note - if you aren't crazy about the taste of curry, still use it in this recipe.  It's a very small amount that adds complexity to the flavor profile and leaves your tastebuds wondering, "hmm... what was it that made this SO good?"

Caramelized onion goodness.
Bring the mixture to a low boil and let it cook for about 5 minutes.  Then, turn off the heat, and using an immersion blender, blend to a nice smooth consistency.  If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a normal blender.  HOWEVER, it is VERY important that you never try to blend a hot liquid!  It will explode all over the place.  Trust me, I speak from experience (I was making pea soup and had scalding green goop all over the ceiling, cupboards, counter, floor, and myself, not fun!!). If you are going to use a traditional blender, let the mixture cool to room temperature before blending, then reheat prior to serving. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

I like to serve with a small dollop of nonfat greek yogurt to add a bit more creaminess, as well as a sprinkle of cayenne for a little more spice.  You could also sprinkle with some fresh chopped chives and chopped toasted cashew. Or a dollop of créme fraiche. Or whatever you feel like.   It's nice to have some nice crusty bread on the side for dipping.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment