When you browse through the farmer's market or even in the grocery store, you see a vast array of squashes at this time of year at very affordable prices. The last vegetable of the season to get harvested. Whether the squash is baked, steamed or mashed, it makes a great veggie side. But it also makes a delicious soup.
My favourite type to use in this case is a butternut squash. It has a beautiful orange colour and delectable
sweet taste. I don't like a lot of complex flavours to compete with the taste of the squash, so I simply simmer my cubed squash along with an onion and one large chopped apple in chicken broth along with cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg. The addition of some roasted garlic or a mild curry powder would give this soup an extra element of flavour. Just add in small increments till you achieve the flavour you like.
Once the squash is cooked to tender, puree with an immersion blender and add a small amount of heavy cream. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, some croutons and chopped chives or green onion. With a small amount of prep time and about 25 minutes of cooking, you can have a homemade soup that cannot be matched by anything from a can or box!
Serve with crusty bread for a hearty, fulfilling lunch or dinner - and the bread helps you to get every last drop from the bowl!
Depending on the size of bowls used, this will yield 6-8 servings. If you are fortunate enough to have some left for the next day, you will find that this soup thickens as it sits. It can be thinned out with the addition of some extra broth if you find that it has become too thick.
Here's how I prepare my squash. Slice a small amount off each end and then cut the squash in half crosswise (not length wise). This gives you a flat end so that it will stand upright on your cutting board. Then begin at the top and cut away the peel working your way to the bottom and then around the full circumference of the squash. Repeat for the other half. Once all the peel is removed, cut in half lengthwise, remove the pulp and seeds, cut into slices and then cubes. One small to medium squash will yield about 6 cups cubed. Frozen squash will work as well if fresh is not available and is a great alternative when the price for fresh soars during the winter months.
Butternut Squash Soup
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cubed)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 apple (peeled, cored and chopped)
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel squash. Cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp. Cut flesh into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes.
In a Dutch oven with a small amount of oil, cook onion till soft. Add squash, apple and spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add stock; stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then turn down the temperature and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender. Reserve the salt and pepper till the end, as you may find the chicken stock has provided enough salt.
Once cooked, puree the soup with an immersion blender. You can also puree in batches with a blender.
Add cream. In order for the cream not to curdle, keep the temperature low.
Garnish with a dollop of sour cream if desired and some crusty croutons.
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