15 October 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup / www.delightfulrepast.com

Butternut Squash Soup is the quintessential soup of autumn, and despite a spell of hot weather, I've been feeling positively autumnal. When I see this soup on a seasonal menu, I'm always tempted. But then I hesitate because too often it's made in one of two ways that I don't like.

One extreme is a version overloaded with garlic and strong herbs, trying too hard to not be the other extreme I don't like. And that is one that borders on dessert, very sweet and pumpkin-pie spicy. I add just a tiny amount of nutmeg, allspice and real maple syrup to enhance the natural sweetness of the squash and the tartness of the green apple.

A bit of potato amps up the creamy texture even without any actual cream. And using an immersion blender to puree the soup is the only way to go. Ladling part of it into a countertop blender and then pouring it into yet another bowl or pot, and then repeating two or three times ... well, all I have to say is I can't believe I waited so long to get an immersion blender. 

Of course, you can use chicken stock rather than vegetable stock and even put in some bacon, but I like the pure vegetable flavors of this version. What could be better than a steaming bowl of soup and homemade bread with lots of butter on a crisp autumn day! What are your favorite soups? 

Butternut Squash Soup

(Makes 2.25 quarts/2.13 liters)

1 medium (2.5 pounds) butternut squash
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium (8 ounces) Granny Smith apple, roughly chopped
1 small (4 ounces) yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 medium (2 ounces) carrot, roughly chopped
1 medium (8 ounces) russet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 quart lower sodium vegetable broth

2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch (1/16 teaspoon) cayenne
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
Garnish: apple, nutmeg, creme fraiche

1 Preheat oven to 400F/200C/Gas6. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut off stem of squash, and cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place cut side up on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour. Let stand at room temperature until cool enough to handle.

2 In a 4-quart pot, heat olive oil and add chopped* apple, onion and carrot. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook for about 8 minutes. Scoop cooled squash into the pot. Add potato, broth, water and seasonings, including another 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, loosely covered, for 40 minutes.

* Roughly chopped is fine because you'll be pureeing the soup.

3 Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot. Stir in the maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Note: I'm not saying life without an immersion blender was meaningless or that I'm consumed with bitterness and regret for not getting one sooner. But seriously, folks, if you don't have an immersion blender, get one now. You'll wonder how you got along without it!

4 Ladle soup into bowls, garnish and serve.


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40 comments:

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Well, I’ve eaten my words more than a few times, and I’d gladly eat the ones with which you describe butternut squash soup. SOUNDS delicious. But anything like a squash, rutabaga et al (but not eat all) is anathema to my tastebuds. Has the appearance of pre-masticated food and the taste to me is not far behind. Perhaps surprisingly, I do like a high-class vegetable soup. There’s a place in central Florida with an airstrip and a few outbuildings that look like a fairytale village (might be Lake Wales). Anyway, I ate a breakfast there years ago that included a Romain soup that is to die for. Yeah, doesn’t sound like breakfast, and I think the tab was around $70, but it was the best soup I’ve ever tasted. Also like pea soup, tomato soup, and mushroom soup as part of stroganoff. I like to cut up shrimp and add to tomato soup, ditto black forest ham from Whole Foods in pea soup. BS soup is savored in your picture and description, but I leave the repast to “seasoned” soup-er gourmets like you and your more tasteful readers!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sully! I like a nice chunky vegetable soup, too. But there are times when a perfectly smooth (or "pre-masticated") soup is called for! :D I think I'll start calling my immersion blender the "premasticator!"

Amy at love made my home said...

Delicious! One of my favourites in fact! xx

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Amy, thank you! Glad you like it!

Richard Sheppard said...

I just purchased all the ingredients for your Cabbage soup we love so much and now it looks like I'll have another soup to make next week. Cool! It is soup season after all.

Corrin said...

We're swapping soup recipes! This looks great.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, thank you so much! Hope you like it, too!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Corrin! I'm glad to have more options for when Soup Weather really finally arrives!

Cranberry Morning said...

Oh this sounds delicious. I make it every fall, but put hot curry from Penzeys in mine. Now you have me curious about trying it with maple syrup!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! Try it and let me know how you like it!

Angie Schneider said...

We must have been on the same culinary wavelength, Jean. I had some butternut squash soup for the dinner yesterday and I am going to make some more for today. This time I am going to add an apple in it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Margaret-whiteangel said...

That a lovely receive...thank you.
I bet it tastes delicious.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Hmmmm, we love butternut soup but I'm not sure I'd be able to get the Great Scot to try this... if it bears even a passing resemblance to something that might be pumpkin-ish he automatically hates it. *I* would love it though! My recipe is more on the savoury side, but not overloaded with strong flavours.

I absolutely LOVE the idea of using potatoes rather than cream and will definitely be trying it; thank you!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

My sister makes her soup with maple syrup and she begged me to try it. She visited not too long ago with three bottles of her homemade maple syrup. I told her I didn't want to waste it on soup and she told me I'd live to regret it if I didn't try it at least once. I laughed when I saw your recipe and I promise to try it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, that is so cool! I hope you like the apple. It really adds something, I think, without adding too much sweetness.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margaret, thank you! Even my husband likes it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jacqueline! Maybe tell the Great Scot to close his eyes, then sneak him a spoonful!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maureen, and here I thought I'd come up with something new with the maple syrup! Nothing new under the sun! But, really, just a little bit gives it a certain something without adding much sweetness. If you try it, let me (and your sister) know how you liked it.

Linda Kay said...

A restaurant here in Fredericksburg serves a similar soup on their menu during the fall and winter. I have never tried it and I guess it's time I used your recipe to give it a shot. Thanks for posting it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Linda, I hope you will! I don't often order soup in a restaurant, but when I do I always have the little conversation in my head about how I could make a whole pot at home for the price of this one little bowl! :D

DeniseinVA said...

Thank you for this delicious recipe Jean. The presentation is so pretty!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Denise, thank you so much! My mother always did beautiful presentation. I wish I had photos of some of her food.

Unknown said...

Yummy sounds like we need to make some of this stuff soon. Now it just needs to cool off here in the Desert to usher in soup season. Love your food photos too!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Unknown! It needs to cool off EVERYwhere -- this has been some crazy weather this year!

Tony Grant said...

Wo!!!!!hold your horses there just one minute, Jean. That is NOT food,that is art!!!!!!!Ha! Ha!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony! You should've seen my mother's food -- she *really* knew how to make it look good!

Dina M. -SavvyInTheKitchen said...

Looks delicious! Ultimate comfort food!Thanks for sharing on Creative K Kids’ Tasty Tuesdays link up. I have also pinned your recipe to our tasty Tuesday's Pinterest Board. Hope to see you back next week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dina, thanks! The link up is such fun -- love checking out all the different posts.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

A delicious looking soup which is perfect for the colder weather we're having, including the snow flurries yesterday. I like the idea of adding apple and have a couple of squash from the last farmers market before it ended.
Happy Autumn Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judith, thank you and Happy Autumn to you! I've always loved the poetic sound of "snow flurries."

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Jean, your squash soup sounds and looks amazing! I love squash, sweet potato, and my own cream of vegetable soup which I learned to make in Home Ec. I like the idea of adding apple to the squash. I would think that would give it a little extra something. Thanks for sharing and stopping by.

Autumn blessings,
Sandi

Have a Daily said...

Jean, I love butternut squash soup and have been wanting a good recipe. Can't wait to try it!
Hugs,
Jann

Carol Preibis said...

Jean, I love, love, love butternut squash soup, and this recipe sounds delish!
Thanks much!
Wishing you well, Carol

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, thank you! I never had a home ec class, but I'm sure it would've been great fun!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jann, thanks! Let me know how it turns out for you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Carol, thanks so much! Hope all is well with you!

Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

I could eat this every day, but Dave is not a fan of butternut as so I hardly ever buy them :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tandy! I'm the same way. If my husband doesn't like something, I rarely, if ever, make it.

Sara | Belly Rumbles said...

One of my favourite soups. I do love how you have added the crisp apple on top.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sara! Yes, I like the tart and crisp accent to the smooth and creamy texture.

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