Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Soup Weather Again: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Hey Blog! Long time, no...write?

Anyway, it's December (can you believe it?) and it is so cold! On Monday, our high temperature was in the 50s; today, we'll be lucky if we hit the 20 degree mark. Brrr!

The upside: this is perfect soup weather! Not only is a hot bowl of soup so welcome on a cold day, but soup is also usually easy to make. Even more, the frugalista in me just loves what an inexpensive dinner soup can be. I love that I can whip up a big pot of soup for under ten bucks (or even five, in some cases) that will fill my family up at dinner and still have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Today, I thought I'd share a favorite of mine: roasted butternut squash soup.

And let me tell you, if you had told me that a squash soup would be a favorite of mine a few years ago, I would have said you were nuts.

For most of my life I've been squash-averse. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it was from the time my mom tried to trick my brothers and me by using squash instead of pumpkin in a pie. (The lady next door told her we wouldn't notice. We did. Mom had a surplus of squash so I can't blame her for trying.) Poor Mom. She would grow loads of squash in the garden but she was the only one who would eat it. I can remember times when I'd come home from school and the house would smell delicious. My brothers and I would run up the stairs to the kitchen to see what Mom had in the oven. To our disappointment, she was roasting squash. I have no idea why we turned our noses up at it when we thought it smelled so good. I mean, isn't that a pretty good indicator that it might be tasty?

My mom works at a restaurant and a few years ago, she brought me a cup of the popular butternut squash soup from there. As you can imagine, I didn't want to touch it.

With a little more coaxing, my mom got me to finally try it and, to my great surprise, I LOVED it. I wanted her to bring it every day she worked. It was sweet but not too much so and it had this subtle curry flavor to it. Since then, I've opened myself up to the world of squash and it's really not that bad. I'm thinking I might be planting a few butternut and spaghetti squash next year in my garden.

This week I finally made my own pot of that butternut squash soup and it was so easy -- I figured it'd be a nice way to get back onto this blog of mine. This recipe comes from the restaurant -- I was so happy when it was printed in their free newsletter.

I was going to do a step-by-step recipe with lots of photos, but I tell you, the days are getting so short and by 4:45 it was getting too dark to even get a good picture. But, seriously, this recipe is so easy, the step-by-step instructions aren't really that needed.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 
serves 6

1 butternut squash (get one of the bigger ones at the store, I'd say),  peeled and medium diced
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch salt and pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups chicken stock (you could also do vegetable stock if you want to make this meatless)
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (none of that fake pancake syrup stuff)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (I used half & half and it worked fine)

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, toss the diced and peeled squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper until it's nice and coated. Put the squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until it's browned.

While the squash is roasting, place cook the onion in pot with butter until the onion is translucent.

Add the stock and roasted squash to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook until the squash is tender. Pour into a blender (you could also use an immersion blender, but it'll probably take longer) and puree until smooth.

Return the puree to the pot. Add nutmeg, cloves, curry powder, and maple syrup. Stir in cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately. Optional garnish: top with roasted pepitas.

Avoid that bitter Arctic blast that's hitting most of the country right now. Stay inside and make a pot of this. It's for the best.

Note: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have disclosed.


Heather Dixon said...

This looks delicious!

Can it be made without the maple syrup? (and still taste good?)

Heather said...

I'm sure you could make it without the syrup, but I don't think it'll be as good, to be totally honest. I love the maple-y sweetness combined with the curry.

Heather Dixon said...

Thanks! I bought the squash and am going to try it today. I'm like you were--squash is weird. But this looks delicious!

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