Despite all my whining about summer ending and winter coming and not liking changing seasons and everything else that I whine about, I actually really do like fall. It's a beautiful season.
One of my favorite things about fall is the food. With cooler temperatures, I find that my appetite picks up (not necessarily a good thing), and I crave food made with squash, and apples, and plenty of cheese. Not necessarily all together. And my absolutely favorite food? Soup. I love soup and I just feel that you can't really get away with eating it during the hot afternoons of summer. But the leaves change and the temperature drops, and I bring on the soup.
I thought I would share my very favorite soup recipe: roasted butternut squash soup. I've been kind of hanging on to this, not really wanting to share, because, well, I'm selfish. This makes phenomenal soup, and I wanted it to just be my soup. But since I can't have all of you over for dinner, this is the only way I know to share the deliciousness with you.
This recipe has actually made me a bit of a butternut squash soup snob. Every time I go out to eat and I see butternut squash soup, I order it so I can compare it to my butternut squash soup. And every time, Hubster and I both agree, it's just not as good. My soup is creamy, silky, rich, and beautiful. Every other butternut squash soup has just been a disappointment.
I've been making this soup since before Monkey was born. I can't remember where the original recipe came from. I had the ingredients and some basic instructions scribbled on an index card, but I lost the card years ago. So be patient with me - this recipe is also an attempt at organizing my cooking, as in putting numbers to what goes into the pot.
First, get a butternut squash. Peel and clean it out. Then chop it into pieces. Place in a roasting pan.
Then chop up an onion (the whole thing) and put it in with the squash.
Add several smashed cloves of garlic (you don't want to chop this because the pieces will be too little and will burn in the oven). I use about 4-5 cloves of garlic, but then I really love garlic.
Toss the squash, onion, and garlic with olive oil (several tablespoons). You want to be generous - not only does it help brown the vegetables, it keeps them from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle very generously with pepper and kosher salt.
Place the roasting pan full of beautiful vegetables into an oven preheated to 425. They are going to stay there for at least an hour and a half, but check on them every 30 minutes and give them a stir. You don't want them to burn, but you do want them to get a lovely dark golden color. The more color, the better the flavor of the soup.
After roasting for approximately 1 1/2 hours, or until golden brown, place all the vegetables in a large pot. Add 4 cups of chicken stock. Then add additional water until the vegetables are completely covered, about 2-3 more cups. Cover and simmer on low heat for at least another hour. Or you can be like me and just let it simmer for several hours, because you are easily distracted and forgot about it. Don't worry. It will be fine.
After boiling, let it cool a little before the next step. Working in batches, puree the vegetable-stock mixture in a blender.
Now here is the crucial part: after blending, pour the soup through a sieve into a new pot. Straining the soup is what gives it the silken texture you are after.
After all the soup is pureed and strained, extra water can be added as needed to get the thickness desired. Especially if you forgot about the soup and let it simmer for several hours, you may need to add a little more extra water/stock.
Right before serving, stir in a cup of cream. (What? I never said this was a healthy soup recipe, only that this was the best soup recipe.).
Serve with warm rolls and a salad of spinach, pear, and pecans, and you have the best dinner there is.
It's not dinner at my house, but then I guess you are also forgoing the developing humor of two elementary school boys. I hope you enjoy. And who knows? This recipe may make you into a soup snob as well.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash soup
1 large onion
3-6 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black peper
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup cream
Directions: Preheat over to 425. Peel, clean, and chop up butternut squash. Chop up onion. Smash garlic. Place all vegetables in roasting pan and toss will olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for approximately 90 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 30 minutes.
Place vegetables in pot, add chicken stock and enough water to completely cover vegetables. Simmer over low heat for at least 1 hour.
Working in batches, puree vegetable-stock mixture. Strain soup into a new pan. Stir in cream just prior to serving.