Butternut squash soup was not something I grew up with, or even had much experience with until a few years ago. Butternut squash is another kind of winter squash (see my acorn squash recipe) that originated in Mexico. It is very similar to a pumpkin, with a sweet, nutty flavor, brought out best by roasting. It is also a very healthy fruit (yes, it is considered a fruit, but typically used as a vegetable) containing many vital vitamins and minerals. Due to the hard skin and flesh of the squash, it can be difficult to cut before it is cooked so care is required when cutting to avoid injury. If available, you can also buy the pre-cut version which simplifies the process. This butternut squash soup recipe makes about 10 servings, but could easily be cut in half. That said, lets get on with the recipe!
3 whole butternut squash cut into quarters
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. dry sherry (for de-glazing)
36 oz. chicken broth
2-4 tbsp. salt (depending on taste)
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
8 oz. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 tbsp. sour cream
I like to cut the butternut squash into quarters because it is more manageable that way. Place the squash on a baking sheet, flesh side up and lightly salt. Roast in a 350 degree oven for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours (or more – it is almost impossible to over roast).
Scoop the flesh of the squash out with a spoon and set aside.
After squash is finished roasting, heat the olive oil in a large pot (6-8 quart) over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until lightly browned. De-glaze the pan with the dry sherry. Add the squash, chicken broth, salt, pepper and paprika and stir. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Transfer to mixture to a blender, and blend in batches until smooth. Pour mixture back into the pot and bring to a light simmer. Add the cream, nutmeg and salt to taste. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, whip up a small amount of whipping cream with sour cream for garnish. The sour cream provides a nice contrast to the sweetness of the soup. Once the soup is done simmering, transfer to serving bowls, with a dollop of the sour cream mixture and serve. I personally enjoy cooking up some garlic bread and dipping it in the soup. Serve with garlic bread, bagel chips, french bread or just by itself.
I love this recipe as a meal in itself or served as a side dish. The butternut squash soup is a great accompaniment for a holiday meal. A perfect winter dish!