Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Savory & Sweet Butternut Squash Soup

I made this the other day because I love butternut squash soup in the fall. And even in Houston, it is fall - despite the fact that the kids across the street were in swimsuits, playing in the sprinkler yesterday afternoon. The weather is warm.  But I wanted soup! And I wanted a lunch for WP and me that was not grilled cheese or PB&J.

This recipe is a combination of Alton Brown and Seattlest's soups. I really like the ginger - it adds a nice depth/warmth of flavor.

Disclaimer: WP LOVED butternut squash soup last fall, when he was one.  He didn't like it as much this year.  He did, however, DEVOUR the Parmesan Cheese Croutons.

Savory & Sweet Butternut Squash Soup

3 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
One 2 pound butternut squash
2 ripe pears
1/2 (or 1 very small) yellow onion
1 cup apple cider (apple juice is a fine substitute)
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup half-and-half
Parmesan cheese (optional topping)

Peel and de-seed the squash and cut into cubes (about 4 cups).  Peel and de-core the pears and cut into cubes (about 2 cups).  Peel and coarsely chop the onion.

Heat butter/oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the squash, pears, and onion and stir well. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pears are soft and starting to fall apart.

Add the cider and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the broth and ginger, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes or until squash is tender.

Use a blender or food processor to puree the soup until very smooth.  Work in small batches and don't fill the blender more than 1/3 full - hot liquids expand a lot. Return the soup to the Dutch oven and add the salt. Continue to cook, uncovered, over medium-low, until the final consistency looks good to you. I usually let it reduce about half in volume.

Stir in half-and-half and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve, garnished with parmesan cheese (optional).

Parmesan Cheese Croutons

French bread
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Slice bread into 1 " slices. Remove crust, and cut or tear bread into cubes.  Place cubes in a plastic freezer bag.  Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat.  Assemble bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 to desired brown-ness (about 10 minutes.)

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Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. KC loved it and was licking the bowl . . . So was I:)