Fall is here. We have already had our first hard freeze. As I write this sitting on the front porch, flocks of snow geese fly overhead. The mule deer are making their surprise appearances all over the ranch. We have started stacking wood for the cold nights that are not far off. And I am having a running battle with the wood peckers that think the eaves of the house will make a swell winter refuge.
One of the nice things about the change of seasons is the change in foods. It’s time for hearty, warming soups! Butternut squash and pumpkins are at their peak. This soup can be made with either, but I prefer butternut squash because it is easier to cut up. I cut mine into about one inch pieces and then roast them because the more surface that caramelizes the richer the flavor. I also think it is easier to peel the squash before cooking.
You will need a nice sharp chef’s knife to cut up the squash. A Swiss peeler is best for peeling the squash but you can use a good quality potato peeler. I like to use a grapefruit spoon for scooping out the seeds.
A small to medium size squash should give you about 6 cups of raw squash. In the picture I have one jar of homemade chicken broth. I ended up using one can of low sodium chicken broth as well. Depending on how thick you like your soup you will want to adjust things. I used two small shallots, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and salt and pepper. Don’t skimp on the butter when you cook the shallots. Top the soup with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream just before serving. You could skip it but I wouldn’t, it adds just the right bit of creamy richness to the soup.
Cut up your squash into about 1 inch pieces. Toss them in a bit of olive oil. Spread them out evenly on a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes turning them half way through.
While your squash is roasting, cook the shallots on low heat in the butter and thyme. You want to sweat them rather than sauté them. Not too much color.
Once your squash is done, add it to the pot along with the chicken broth. Let everything cook together for about 30 minutes. Let them get to know each other.
Let the soup cool a bit and then blend it using an immersion blender or in batches using a food processor or regular blender. I think an immersion blender is one of life’s necessities.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Savory creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 small to medium butternut squash 6 cups cut up
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 diced shallots about 1/3 cup diced
- 1/2 tsp thyme dried
- 2 cans low sodium chicken broth about 4 cups
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
- olive oil to coat squash before roasting
Peel squash while whole. Then slice in half and remove seeds. Cut squash into 1 inch pieces. Coat lightly with olive oil. Spread evenly in one layer on a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350°F for 40 minutes turning once half way through.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the shallots and the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the stock and the squash. Simmer over moderate heat for 20 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender or food processor.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with yogurt or sour cream. If you like add chives and/or a sprinkling of bacon.