Sunday, October 18, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

As I mentioned in this post, I'm on the hunt for orange Fall soups, and apparently, they're hard to come by. Even though it's Fall. Go figure. So, I spent some time this Sunday afternoon and made a big pot for the coming week.

It was simple enough to make, and pretty healthy, especially since I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. There was a bit of cream (as you can see from the pretty splashies above), but only 1/4 cup for a huge pot of soup, and it really needed it.

Basically you take 3 pounds of butternut squash...

...and cut it into chunks. Not as hard as I expected, because the recipe suggested a trick: lay it on its side and lop off both ends. Then cut in it in two between the neck and the bulbous part of the squash. Then you can turn the pieces right side up, and use a vegetable peeler to peel them. Cut the pieces in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Voila! All peeled, seeded, and ready to cut into chunks and roast.

Anyway, recipe is below. And here it is in its cup, prior to being in my belly. The craggy biscuits next to it are the Sweet Potato Biscuits I made for Tuesdays with Dorie ... but I'll talk about those on Tuesday.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks.
3 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to center and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss squash, shallots, oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large roasting pan, then spread them into a single layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and soft, around 45 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth to pan and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Return to oven and cook until liquid has reduced and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes.

Working in two batches, puree squash mixture with remaining broth until smooth. (You can also use an immersion blender.) Transfer puree to large saucepan and stir in syrup, vinegar, nutmeg, and cream. Bring soup to simmer over medium-low heat, adding 1/4 cup of water at a time, if necessary, to adjust consistency.

Note: I like this recipe, but it's very shalloty. I don't mind the taste of onion/shallots, but I thought the roasted shallots were TOO pronounced, so I'd actually cut back to only one or two next time.

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