Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


adapted from

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 c. butternut squash puree*
2 medium or large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1" cubes
3-4 c. chicken stock
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
4 fresh sage leaves
a generous pinch of cayenne pepper

In 4-qt. stockpot, warm olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir to coat, cooking for 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the squash puree, potatoes, and enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes. (The more stock you use to cover the potatoes, the thinner your soup will be. Use just enough liquid to boil the potatoes; if needed, you can add more stock to thin the soup later.) Add the sage, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Puree soup in blender until smooth, then return to pot. Test for seasonings.

Serve with sage breadcrumbs (see recipe below)

Sage Croutons

2 c. French baget, torn into 1/2-1" pieces
1 T. finely chopped fresh sage
ground sage
Extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

Toss bread cubes in olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh sage, ground sage, salt and pepper. Bake at 275 degrees until browned, approximately 20 minutes.

*Note - to roast squash, cut it open lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Rub oil over the flesh, then sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Roast cut side down in a 400 degree oven until tender (approximately 40 min.).

Update - 3/24/12
My nephew was here for lunch today, so I pulled some of this delicious soup of of the freezer.  I'm pretty selective about who I cook for these days; I'm not willing to waste the hard work and precious ingredients on just anybody.  However, I'm more than happy to expose my nephew to the pleasures of good food since he's a fellow foodie; in fact, I've been trying to make that a priority.  When I told him what we were having, he threw a hunger fit:  "I'm sick of soup!  Eeuw - that doesn't look good.  I DON'T like butternut squash soup!! "  I reminded him that he's never even tasted butternut squash soup before, and that he rarely dislikes what I prepare for him.  Lo and behold, he not only loved it, but he was concerned that I had gotten a bigger portion than he did.

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