Monday, October 25, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Another fall favourite around here is butternut squash soup. I picked up this giant squash at the St. Lawrence farmer's market last Saturday for $3.00 - makes enough soup to feed a small army. And it's so deliciously buttery and velvety, it nearly passes as a dessert.
What you'll need:
  • 1 giant butternut squash (or, 2 medium sized ones)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 uncooked rice (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt to taste
First, you need to get all that squashy goodness out. Some people like cutting and peeling their squash - I am not one of those people. Instead, I opt to cut the squash into 2 inch sections and steam in the oven until the skin become golden and peels off. Just make sure you add water to the bottom of the pan, and replenish it as the squash gets steamed.
This is how they should look after about 40 minutes at 400 degrees - soft and golden. *Note: squash retains heat like crazy, so set aside and let cool for at least 10 minutes before you attempt the next step.
Now the messy part - peel off all the skin and scrap the delicious squash mush into a bowl.
Next, prep your onions and garlic,
and sauté in olive oil (or butter) for a couple minutes.
Add the squash mush and marry it with the onion/garlic mixture.
Add your broth and stir.
If you like your soup really thick, add 1/2 of rice.
Then add your brown sugar, allspice and salt. Stir well and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Now it's blending time. Prep your blending station something like this.
Add small batches to the food processor...
And blend!
You should end up with a huge pot of thick deliciousness. Stir well and warm at a low heat until you're ready to eat.

If you want to be extra fancy, roast the butternut squash seeds while you're oven is still hot, and use them to garnish your soup.
This soup is a guaranteed people pleaser, and if you have extra, freeze solo batches and enjoy on a cold winter day.

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